Need a little weekend reading? We’ve compiled our top ten Twitter stories of the week, which includes a look at the ramifications of Twitter cutting off Instagram, the psychology of social networking, news that men get retweeted far more than women on Twitter, the current state of social networks and 10 helpful Twitter lists for social media marketers.
Here are our top 10 Twitter stories of the week.
Are you fond of connecting with Twitter followers on Instagram? Well, unless you already synced up your accounts and followed everyone you wanted to, you’re out of luck. Twitter no longer allows Instagram to access its API and pull in “friends from Twitter.” The move does not bode well for apps seeking frictionless sharing with the platform in the future.
With 90 percent of U.S. internet users having signed up for at least one social network, and one out of every eight people on the planet active on Facebook, social media has come a long, long way in a very brief period of time. Indeed, one in every five minutes online is now spent using these social channels, a figure that has more than doubled since 2007. In each and every minute, we generate some 694,980 Facebook status updates and write 532,080 tweets. And 80 percent of those posts are about our favourite person – ourselves.
Social media is dominated by women, and Twitter is no exception, but it appears that when it comes to sharinginformation on our favourite micro-blogging network, men are far more likely to be retweeted than women. Yep, that’s right. Twitter has a gender bias. And there’s every chance that you have one, too.
Did you know that Twitter is the social network with the strongest growth rate in 2012, ahead of LinkedIn, Pinterest and Reddit? Facebook? That didn’t even make the cut. Still, when you’re closing in fast on one billion users, your annual growth rate does tend to slow down a smidgen. Still, don’t shed a tear for Mark Zuckerberg – save those for the owners of Digg, Bebo, Friendster and, of course, MySpace, who are the four social networks most in decline, reminding us that success in this space can be both dramatic and fleeting.
Twitter lists allow users to categorize their followers into different segmented lists based on a particular subject or theme. For instance, Twitter users can create a list of their friends or favorite brands to follow. Lists can also be made private or public; if they’re public then other Twitter users can subscribe to the list and see the tweets of members included on that list without having to follow each individual member of that list. This presents an opportunity to follow curated lists of experts on a variety of subjects.
If you hang around or come into contact with a lot of sick people, you’re very likely to fall ill yourself. Common sense, perhaps, but what if we could use social media to predict the likelihood of that happening in advance? Researchers at the University Of Rochester in New York have used Twitter to track the outbreak of flu through New York, and, using learning model, have been able to determine when healthy people are about to fall ill with an accuracy level of some 90 percent.
Four years is a long time in the regular old world of technology, but it’s an eternity in social media. Since 2008, Twitter’s userbase has expanded almost one hundred times. Facebook has grown almost ten-fold (the latest user numbers are up to 955 million) and, perhaps most impressively, YouTube daily views have risen from 133 million to an incredible four billion per day.
It wasn’t until celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Oprah decided to embrace Twitter that the 140 character network really took off. And celebrity influence on our favorite social networks hasn’t ebbed since. The millions of followers, the massive influence and the high profile status of celebrities make them a powerful force on Twitter. So what happens when one of your tweets gets retweeted by a Twit-lebrity?
Did you know that, when challenged, social media as evidence for search warrants holds up in court 87 percent of the time? Social media has rapidly changed the world, and law enforcement is no exception to its charms. Authorities use platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to identify associates with persons of interest, track the location of criminal activity, gather photos or statements to corroborate evidence, solicit tips on crimes and better understand criminal networks.
Did you know that 65 percent of customers prefer to contact companies on social media rather than via a call center? Sounds great, right? Much cheaper for brands, and far easier to manage volume. But when you consider that 60 percent of companies don’t respond to customers via social channels – even when asked a direct question – and that 70 percent of all complaints made by customers on social media go unanswered, you’re left with something of a disconnect.
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