Twitter is a broadcast medium - "10% of users generate 90% of content"

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Judging by our readers' interest in S60 Twitter clients, there are a lot of Twitter fans on All About Symbian, so you may be interested to know that a study of 300,000 Twitter users by Harvard Business School has found that the main pattern of Twitter use isn't as a social network but as a way for a small number of content generators to talk to a large number of listeners. Twitter now has around 30 million users, but 90% of tweets come from just 3 million users, with most users tweeting either once or not at all. If this study is accurate, it would suggest that Twitter isn't a rival to Facebook or SMS but more like an "RSS Lite", and much more a consumer service than a communication service.

Certainly on the AAS Twitter and Ovi Gaming Twitter channels we've found that most followers never get in touch with us, so presumably they're following purely to see what we have to say. That backs up Harvard's findings that for most of its users Twitter is a one-way broadcasting service rather than a means of finding new friends.

Of course all this tells us about is how Twitter is right now. It may have been a very different kind of service when it launched, and indeed it may turn into a different kind of service in the future, but for the moment it appears to be a means for a twittering elite to publish their views to a mostly-passive audience.