The short, sweet life of a retweet

Twitter's immediacy affects not just original short messages, but also their life span, according to new research from social-analytics firm Sysomos.

Retweets and replies on Twitter
Retweets and replies on Twitter Sysomos

New research from social-analytics company Sysomos reveals--surprise!--that your tweets have fleeting value over the course of a day and, moreover, a lifetime.

Using the retweet as a key indicator for the life of a short message, Sysomos examined 1.2 billion tweets posted in the last two months. The data shows that 29 percent of tweets produced a reaction, either a reply or retweet, and that 92 percent of retweets occur within the first hour of the original message.

This is an interesting set of data, with respect to the fact that companies have begun to embrace social media as a part of their communication strategy--which remains a good idea but does call into question how to measure success over time.

This would also suggest that Twitter is not replacing RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, wherein links to articles and blog posts have a much longer lifetime and can be widely distributed over the course of hours, days, and months. In terms of communication methodologies, Twitter and retweets remain one-to-one, though with broad enough distribution among influencers, a tweet can take on a life of its own.

I also have to wonder how many tweets as a whole are relevant enough for people to consider passing on to their followers. Not that I am suggesting that the majority of tweets are extraneous junk...Side note: has anyone else come to loathe the fact that the word tweet has become part of our greater vernacular?

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