Twitter is awesome. Users tweet over 340 million times a day, and the information load coming through it, and the speed at which it comes from the real world, makes it incredibly addictive as a social media or microblogging tool. In terms of the functions it offers though, how much is really understood? Everyone knows what tweeting, retweeting, and favouriting means on an anecdotal or personal level, but what about more generally. I set up a poll last week to gather data on what ‘favouriting’ a tweet means to different people. The results were pretty interesting, and make for a nice comparison with the results from another similar recent poll, on the ‘multiple personalities’ of the favourite function.
Here are the results from the data gathered on what motivates people to favourite tweets:
Results from 209 votes
The top 3 are pretty obvious:
- Bookmarking something to read later
- Bookmarking something for future reference
- Analogous to the ‘like’ function on Facebook
The other poll had similar results, from 81 votes:
- Highlighting testimonials
- Analogous to the ‘like’ function on Twitter
The author of the other post, Sherry Nouraini, suggests that this multiple-use signal is perhaps a flaw in Twitter’s design, based on uncertainty on the unity of its purpose, especially when it comes to community-building. I’d go one step further, and suggest that perhaps some innovative whizz kid out there can capitalise on this data (OK, it’s not an overwhelmingly huge data set) in some way to improve the services Twitter, or one of the multiple platforms it can run through, currently offers. Maybe. Feel free to keep voting on the poll btw, it would be interesting to see whether the pattern changes through time or with more data.
Bookmarking is the shining star of these li’l polls, both for future reference or to either tweet or read later on. I like the idea of it being used as a Facebook ‘like’, and wonder if those who voted for this are part of the ‘Facebook’ generation, as opposed to perhaps a more scholarly older generation who see beyond such a monotonous use. What do these data mean to you? I’m no social analyst, so it would be interesting to see what others think these patterns, and also discrepancies between data sets could possibly indicate.
For those who voted, here’s a pic of two dinosaurs having an apocalyptic bonk. You’ve earned it. No peaking if you didn’t vote.