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Twitter hype punctured by research

india Updated: Jun 10, 2009 03:54 IST

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Despite the hype surrounding the micro-blogging service Twitter, it is popular only among only a few netizens, says a report in BBC.

Just 10 per cent of Twitter users generate more than 90 per cent of the content, a Harvard study of 3,00,000 users found.

Estimates suggest it now has more than 10 million users and is growing faster than any other social network.

However, the Harvard research team found that more than half of all people using Twitter updated their page less than once every 74 days. They also found that most people only 'tweet' once during their lifetime.

"Based on the numbers, Twitter is certainly not a service where everyone who has seen it has instantly loved it," said Bill Heil, a graduate from Harvard Business School who carried out the work.

On a typical online social network, he said, the top 10 per cent of users accounted for 30 per cent of all production.

"This implies that Twitter's resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network," the team wrote in a blog post.

Facts about Twitter

Twitter is a social networking website where people can post messages of up to 140 characters, known as tweets, that can be seen by other users who subscribe to their feed.

Its growth has been described as 'explosive' and it has become the poster child of social networking sites, particularly among media companies.

Recent figures from research firm Nielsen Online show that visitors to the site increased by 1,382%, from 475,000 to seven million, between February 2008 and February 2009. It is thought to have grown beyond 10 million in the past 4 months.

Earlier this year, the firm found that more than 60% of US Twitter users failed to return.