Pear Analytics, a San Antonio, Texas-based market research firm, recently released the results of a study on Twitter. The study was designed to test the hypothesis that Twitter is being used primarily for self-promotion instead of helping users "join the conversation," Twitter's current motto.
To conduct the study, the company sampled 200 "tweets" over 10 consecutive business days between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., for a total of 2,000 sampled tweets. These tweets were divided into six categories based on their content: news, spam, self-promotion, conversational, pass-along value (any tweet with an RT in it, e.g., what happens if you click the "tweet" button below this story) and pointless babble. Pear determined pointless babble to be a tweet detailing, for example, what a user was doing at any given moment, such as "watching a movie."
Out of the 2,000 tweets sampled, the winner, with 40.55 percent, was pointless babble. Conversational tweets -- people actually conversing over Twitter, came in second at 37.55 percent. The rest of the categories each came in at fewer than 10 percent.
The complete study can be read at http://www.pearanalytics.com. It features a number of interesting Twitter insights, such as charting tweets by time of day and day of week, as well as recommendations on the best time to use Twitter for maximum exposure.