February 24, 2010
Twitter growth hits 50 million "Tweets" a day but just how much of that traffic is noise vs valuable information and does it really matter?
In a recent blog post @kevinweil highlighted the exponential growth in the number of Tweets on Twitter in a single day. The stats are incredible, with 50 million daily Tweets representing over 600 Tweets per Second (TPS). For me it's the growth in the last twelve months alone that highlights the increasing power of social media, and micro-blogging in particular, to connect people and share both valuable information as well as personal trivia.
I can't help thinking many non-Twitter users are wondering if there's really any value or is it all simply noise? Certainly Twitter newbies can easily become overwhelmed by the amount of trivia out there, especially when simply looking at popular or trending topics. The thing to realize is that even though there may be 49,999,900 Tweets that are of no value to you, that would still leave 100 tweets of high value each day – the challenge of course is finding them.
Despite the enormous amount of chatter on Twitter, the ability to be selective about who you follow, and the ability to further filter Twitter streams into "channels" through filters and lists on tools such as TweetDeck (http://Tweetdeck.com), makes Twitter an increasingly useful tool for business users wanting to stay in touch. With experience Twitter can be a great source of new information, news and insights on a variety of topics.
This seems to be borne out by the recent social media user survey which we ran through a number of social media channels including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. What we found was that Twitter was the medium through which the majority of respondents learned of the survey – by a significant margin. This suggests that experienced Twitter users have learned how to filter the noise out, increasing their own personal signal-to-noise ratio, and turning Twitter into a valuable social networking tool.