New Twitter stats: talking is way more popular than sharing links

I thought I’d share a recent study into Twitter usage habits, conducted by Carolin Gerlitz and Bernhard Rieder. I missed this back in May, when it was first released, so apologies if you’ve already seen it.

The findings are significantly different to an older study from 2010 by a Microsoft team (Boyd, Golder and Lotan). This may be due to a different – arguably more robust – sampling method, using the Twitter Streaming API. Or, it may be that usage habits have evolved in the intervening three years. 

The full research is available here. It is a rather dense read, though a rewarding one. For those of you with TL;DR syndrome I have extracted some highlights.

The right metrics: a tale of two websites

Metrics matter. After all, if you’re running a business, it’s hard to make good business decisions if you don’t have data on which to base them.

Those who run businesses on the web are often blessed with a plethora of metrics, and plenty of tools with which to collect them. But putting metrics to good use requires looking at the right ones, as two popular websites demonstrate.

Is Twitter ‘mainstream’? It’s complicated

Twitter seems to be everywhere these days. Twitter has gone way beyond techies and first-adopters. It’s now used (and promoted) by major brands, celebrities and politicians, amongst many others.

From this perspective, Twitter would appear to be quite ‘mainstream‘. But is it? Based on the figures published in this year’s Edison Research/Arbitron Internet & Multimedia Study, the answer is…it depends on what you mean by ‘mainstream‘.

How many iPhone users does your website get?

So how big a deal is iPhone adoption? Is it all about the apps? Or are increasing numbers of iPhone users using your website, just on their phones? 

I took a quick look at the stats for…