destinyland writes: 1.2 billion Twitter "tweets" were analyzed over two months by analytics company Sysomos, who concluded that a whopping 71% of them got no reaction whatsover — no online responses, and no Twitter "retweets". "Only a small number of users actually have the ability to engage on Twitter in a significant way," the researchers conclude, noting that just 6% of Twitter's status updates ever get retweeted (while 23% get a reply). And among those status updates, 85% have exactly one response, while only 1.53% of Twitter conversations are more than three levels deep — where a reply receives a response which then generates a second reply. "If a tweet is not retweeted in the first hour, it is very likely that it will not be retweeted," the researchers conclude, noting that 92% of all retweets only happen within the first hour (versus just 1.63% during the second hour). But one technology reporter suggests flaws in their sample of 1.2 billion public Twitter messages. "Presumably these don't include those made by people who only allow their tweets to be seen by selected users," the reporter argues, adding that the study overlooks the possibility of conversations continuing via Twitter's private "direct messages", or that follow-up conversation may occur privately via e-mail.
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