10 Things Internet

The Six Types of Twitter Users

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
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?