To read the coverage of yesterday's Denial-of-Service attack on Twitter, you'd think it was the end of the online world. But to put things in perspective as it relates to Twitter and the number of people who are using the service - and hit hardest by the outage - consider this:
A couple of months ago, social media analytics firm Sysomos closely analyzed the people on Twitter and how the service was being used. What it found, among other things, was that five percent of Twitter's 11.5 million accounts post about 75% of all the tweets. That led the firm to dig in deeper on that five percent.
This week, the company released the results of the deeper study and highlighted a few important findings about that elite five percent:
- 32 percent of all tweets made by that active group were generated by machine bots that posted more than 150 tweets per day.
- The number of machine-generated tweets is probably greater because many of the bots post fewer than 150 times a day.
- Based on the two reports, it appears that nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of all tweets overall are generated by those active bots.
However, these bots are not necessarily Twitter spammers. These are the automated tweets that comes from sources such as news services. Here at ZDNet, for example, you can follow our blog posts via an automated Twitter feed. I actually subscribe to a lot of these bot-generated tweets - CNN, The New York Times, CNET and so on. In a blog post, Sysomos co-founder and CEO Nick Koudas said:
It's a fascinating exercise to really focus on the most enthusiastic Twitter users, and what they are doing. Our findings, particularly the percentage of tweets contributed by bots, is definitely eye-opening and we hope they shed light on how Twitter is used today and by whom. We think this is one of the first reports to focus on the most active members of the Twitter community to provide interesting insight and perspective. We will continue our updates with additional analysis of the micro-blogging service.
Also worth noting is that 88 percent of this active group posts at least once a day. Of that group, about one-third joined this year, compared to the 72 percent of all Twitter users who are new this year. Lastly, the most popular keywords within the bios for those active users included: Internet marketing, music lover, Web designer, video games, and husband/father.