Only 14% of the US population uses Twitter.
That’s not a whole lot of people, but those who are on it are communicating with each other (or to nobody at all) at a frentic pace.
And just like any mass gathering, Twitter users have aligned themselves with specific groupings, whether they knew they were doing so or not.
Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age
According to researchers at the PEW RESEARCH CENTER, there are SIX DIFFERENT TYPES OF TWITTER CONVERSATIONS going on:
- The POLARIZED CROWD. Primarily a political divide, these are two separate and distinct groups of Twitter users that do not interact with each other at all. “Join the conversation” only appears to happen among like-minded individuals rather than reaching across the aisle to enage the other group. If it matters, liberal Twitter users like to share news stories from mainstream news sources.
- The TIGHT CROWD: do you only interact with people you know in real life on Twitter? Only participate when you’re at a conference?
- The BRAND CLUSTERS: when Twitter conversations surround well-known products, services, or celebrities. People who Tweet in this manner are isolated by themselves — they’re not tweeting to anyone in particular or engaging in an overall conversation. Shouting from the mountaintop, indeed
- COMMUNITY CLUSTERS that are curated by focusing on a smaller audience. Regional news stories tend to create these discussions.
- BROADCAST NETWORK: Twitter users who re-broadcast the news from the original sources, but don’t add any additional commentary or conversation to the topic at hand. It’s like being a town crier, “here’s the news I heard, followers”.
- SUPPORT NETWORK: This is the opposite from the Broadcast Network, where Twitter users all tweet at a central account, such as for user support or customer service.
So which type of Twitter user are you?