There are lots of happily anonymous people on the Internet. But for celebrities and other prominent public figures, it’s usually more important to establish your social media profiles actually belong to you, rather than an imposter.
Twitter’s solution to this challenge was to offer verified accounts to prominent figures.
Haje Jan Kamps, CEO of mobile camera remote technology company Triggertrap, analyzed more than 100,000 Twitter accounts and discovered that most of the verified accounts belong to journalists and sports figures.
According to Kamps, nearly a quarter of Twitter’s verified users fit into the journalist and media category. Since this group remains core to Twitter’s user-base, and made up a considerable portion of early adopters, this shouldn’t really come as a surprise. There are probably some who were verified before Twitter made verified accounts an invite only club.
Sports figures make up the next largest group of verified Twitter accounts, at 18 percent, followed by actors at 15 percent, companies and business people at 13 percent, and musicians at 12 percent.
The data clearly indicates that prominence also dictates follower count, with only entertainers, media outlets and politicians breaking the 400,000 mark. And despite only representing 12 percent of Verified accounts, the musicians amass more than one million followers on average, according to Kamps.
By contrast, journalists, who represent the largest single group of verified accounts, average a “relatively modest number” of 140,000 followers. Keep in mind that the number of followers for the average Twitter user is a little over 200. So even the “average” verified account isn’t indicative of the typical Twitter account.
According to Kamps, the asynchronicity of relationships on Twitter turns it into a “bonafide publishing platform.” This bears out in the connection between follower ratio, or the number of people followed vs the number of followers. Each group of verified accounts used Twitter in different ways: journalists and politicians displayed a high level of interactivity, using Twitter as a communication tool, while other groups use Twitter for broadcasting.
Nothing hugely surprising here: Television shows, musicians and media outlets are, by and large, broadcasters, and are using Twitter as a broadcaster.
Check out the full report for details about who Twitter’s verified users.