August 21st, 2009 by Christopher Musico

The discussion over just how influential Twitter actually is continues to wage on. According to a new study by research firm Pear Analytics, less than one in ten tweets have any real “pass-along value,” as more than 40 percent of tweets are “pointless babble.” (Check out an upcoming story on our Web site for more details on what was behind the Pear Analytics study.)

According to the news source, the research was meant to take a snapshot of what people were actually using the social networking site for, and jumped into the stream of tweets every half-hour between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Daylight Time on weekdays — in the span of two weeks — to collect a total of 2,000 messages.

The messages were then grouped into six categories:

  • conversational ……… 37.5 percent;
  • news …………………… 3.6 percent;
  • pass-along value … 8.7 percent;
  • pointless babble …… 40.5 percent;
  • self-promotion …… 5.9 percent; and
  • spam …………………… 3.8 percent.

While the second-largest percentage, conversation, was encouraging, the fact that the majority, 40.5 percent, of tweets were deemed to be “pointless babble” is disturbing.

As with any other type of technology, or even social group (online or offline), the experience is what you make of it. Do you believe this will also be the case with Twitter? Can you sweep away the clutter from the gems through selective following, privatizing your Twitter feed, or another tactic? Furthermore, does that take away from the open nature of the microblogging site?

Lastly, do you believe this is something that will work itself out in time as the site matures, as was discussed in the commentary from my last Twitter-related blogpost?

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