Washington: Popular social media and microblogging site Twitter may soon turn into a broadcast medium like television or radio with the users merely reading the tweets rather than posting their own tweet messages, a recent study has revealed.
A first study, which used social media as a laboratory for social science experiments, tried to answer what motivated people to tweet whether it is broadcasting their thoughts or opinions or simply to accumulate followers.
For a period of two months, researchers Andrew T. Stephen and Oliver Toubia monitored the twitter activity of 100 twitter accounts made by their research assistants, who followed 2,500 Twitter users who were noncorporate and noncelebrity. They observed how the increase in audience size affected the users' tweeting activity.
While the high -end users having 10,000 followers and those having few followers showed no change in their tweeting activity, the mid-range users with 13 to 26 followers showed significant increase in tweeting activity.
The study found that users with slightly more followers from 62 to 245 posted less as their followers increased. They were more cautious about what they were posting indicating that many users are more interested in gaining followers than using Twitter to broadcast their views.
Stephen pointed out that celebrities and institutions would continue to post information to people who want it. It would mean creation of another broadcast channel as opposed to a socially interactive medium.
The study further analyzed that once new users sign up for the site, there is more likelihood of it turning into one- way conduit for information.
Such a scenario would make Twitter a more viable channel for corporations, celebrities and other high-end users to communicate with their fans.
Additionally marketers would have a challenging task to offer rewards and other incentives to engage users and counteract the tendency to tweet less.
First Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013, 19:34