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					                   Why We Twitter?
Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities

             Akshay Java                          Xiaodan Song
               Tim Finin                           Belle Tseng
University of Maryland, Baltimore County   NEC Laboratories America Inc.
What is Twitter?
 § Micro-Blogging, Social Networking Service
 § Users send updates/tweets via SMS, IM or Web
 § Light-weight blogging, short posts
   (140 characters or less)
What is Twitter?


  Current Status




Twitter post
                                  Friends




                   Easily share status messages
                    Easily share status messages
MICRO-BLOGS
Ambient Intimacy

         “Ambient intimacy is about
         being able to keep in touch
         with people with a level of
         regularity and intimacy that
         you wouldn’t usually have
         access to, because time and
         space conspire to make it
         impossible. “
                     - Leisa Reichelt
         Twitter, Flickr and other Social Media sites.
Twitter! Twitter! Twitter!




             Disclaimer: No association to Twitter Inc/ Obvious corp.
             Disclaimer: No association to Twitter Inc/ Obvious corp.
Motivation




 § Goal: Study Micro-blogging usage, user-intentions
   and community structure.
 § Motivation:
   – What is the excitement about?
   – What is the user-intention in micro-blogging?
   – How is this form of communication different?
Outline
                   Why We Twitter?
                   Why We Twitter?


  Micro-blogging
  Micro-blogging                      User Intentions
                                      User Intentions
      Usage
       Usage




                                     Community-based
                                     Community-based
                                        Intentions
                                         Intentions


                                      Content-based
                                      Content-based
                                        Intentions
                                         Intentions
Social Media
   Social media describes the online technologies
   and practices that people use to share opinions,
   insights, experiences, perspectives with each
   other.




                                     ~ Wikipedia 07
Social Media
   Social media describes the online technologies
   and practices that people use to share opinions,
   insights, experiences, perspectives and engage
   with each other.


   Examples:
   Blogs, Wikis, Flickr, YouTube, Micro-blogs…
Outline
                                      Why We Twitter?
                                      Why We Twitter?


     Micro-blogging
     Micro-blogging                                      User Intentions
                                                         User Intentions
         Usage
          Usage


 USAGE
 • Popularity of Twitter?                               Community-based
                                                        Community-based
 • Is it very different from blogs?
                                                           Intentions
                                                            Intentions
 • What is it’s adoption across the world?
                                                         Content-based
                                                         Content-based
                                                           Intentions
                                                            Intentions
Dataset Description
 §   Constructed by monitoring the Public timeline of posts
 §   2 month period (04/07-05/07)
 §   1,348,543 posts
 §   76,177 Users
 §   829,053 friend relation between them
 §   Used the Twitter API for accessing user social network
The Twitter Phenomenon




 § Twitter’s popularity increased after winning the Web
   award at SXSW conference, March 2007.

                    Currently, Twitter is the most popular micro-blogging tool.
                    Currently, Twitter is the most popular micro-blogging tool.
                                                                  Source: ComScore
Growth Rate




 Slow down in growth of new users
  Slow down in growth of new users   Dedicated user-base generating new
                                     Dedicated user-base generating new
        joining the network.
         joining the network.                  updates/tweets.
                                                updates/tweets.
Network Statistics




                Degree distributions similar to Blogs, Web…
                Degree distributions similar to Blogs, Web…
Network Statistics

                                             Network Statistics




            However, higher reciprocal linking and clustering
             However, higher reciprocal linking and clustering
            coefficient indicates mutual acquaintance.
             coefficient indicates mutual acquaintance.
User Retention


                                      User has at least
                                      one post in the
        ACTIVE                        week


        RETAINED
                                     Active user, who
                                     reposts the following
                                     week




                   Shows a continued activity and retention on Twitter
                    Shows a continued activity and retention on Twitter
Geographical Spread
                                                                  Cross Continent Social Network




                                                                          Social network crosses
                                                                           Social network crosses
                                                                         geographical boundaries
                                                                          geographical boundaries

                                                                 Continental Network Properties

        Top Cities: Tokyo, NY, SF, Seattle, LA, Chicago,
        Toronto, Austin, Singapore, Madrid

Global popularity
Global popularity

                                                           Higher reciprocity in Europe and Asia
                                                           Higher reciprocity in Europe and Asia
Outline
                                    Why We Twitter?
                                    Why We Twitter?


     Micro-blogging
     Micro-blogging                                    User Intentions
                                                       User Intentions
         Usage
          Usage


 USER INTENTION
 • What are we using Twitter for?                     Community-based
                                                      Community-based
 • Are there communities?
                                                         Intentions
                                                          Intentions
 • If so, what are the community-level intentions?
                                                       Content-based
                                                       Content-based
                                                         Intentions
                                                          Intentions
User Intentions
Using Link Structure:
   – Information source
     Such users have a number of followers ( include bots like forecast, stock, CNN breaking news, etc.)
   – Information seeker
     Such users may post infrequently, but have a number of connections
   – Friendship relation
     Most user’s social network is within mutual acquaintances
Using Content:
   – Daily chatter                           dinner, work, movie…

   – Conversations (@)                       Reply to a specific person @ev

   – Sharing URLs                             Sharing URLs through tinyURL

   – Commenting on News                       Number of automated RSS to Twitter bots posting news
Communities in Twitter
                                               Hubs and Authorities
 § First find Hubs and
   Authorities using HITS
 § Consider only bidirectional
   links
 § Clique Percolation Method     A-list bloggers and personalities are on Twitter

   (CPM) to find overlapping     Scobleizer, SteveRubel, JasonCalacanis, SteveJobs
                                 JohnEdwards, BarakObama, et al.
   communities
Clique Percolation Method (CPM)
                                                                           Example Gaming Community

Basic Idea
  Two nodes belong to the
  same community if they
  can be connected through
  adjacent k-cliques.




 I. Derenyi, G. Palla, and T. Vicsek. Clique percolation in random networks. Physical Review Letters, 94:160202, 2005.
 G. Palla, I. Derenyi, I. Farkas, and T. Vicsek. Uncovering the overlapping community structure of complex networks in
        nature and society. Nature, 435:814, 2005.
                                                                                  com:175       twitter:134
                                                                                  just:133      like:86
                                                                                  good:82       tinyurl:75
                                                                                  time:74       new:74
                                                                                  jasona:73     going:68
                                                                                  day:63        don:61
                                                                                  work:58       think:56
                                                                                  ll:54         scottw:54
                                                                                  today:52      hkarthik:50
                                                                                  nice:49       getting:47
                                                                                  got:47        really:46
                                                                                  yeah:44       need:43
                                                                                  watching:41   love:41
                                                                                  night:40      home:40

                                                                                          com:198        twitter:132   just:109
                                                                                          tinyurl:87     going:59      blog:56
                                                                                          like:55        good:51       new:50
                                                                                          url:50         day:49        people:46
 com:93        twitter:74                              INFORMATION                        time:45        today:45      google:42
 just:35       new:32                                                                     don:41         think:40      night:38
 tinyurl:29
 ll:22
               going:24
               blog:21
                                                              HUB                         ll:38
                                                                                          ireland:33
                                                                                                         need:35
                                                                                                         great:31
                                                                                                                       got:33
                                                                                                                       looking:29
 jaiku:21      don:21                                                                     work:29        thanks:28     video:26
 leo:21        flickr:21
 like:19       video:18
 google:18     today:18
 feeds:18      getting:16
 yeah:16       good:15
 people:15

com:93        twitter:76     tinyurl:34
just:32       new:28         video:26
going:24      ll:22          jaiku:22
blog:21       leo:21         like:19
don:19        gamerandy:19   yeah:18      com:121      twitter:76    just:50
google:17     live:16        people:16    ustream:43   tv:42         live:42
got:16        know:15        time:15      today:39     hawaii:36     day:33
                                          new:33       time:33       good:33
                                          video:32     leo:30        work:30
      Information Source: Communities connected via Robert Scoble, an A-list blogger
       Information Source: Communities connected via Robert Scoble, an A-list blogger
                                          like:28      watching:28   tinyurl:28
   Key Terms
   going:222       just:218     INFORMATION
   work:170
   bed:140
                    night:143
                    time:139
                                                          Key Terms
   good:137         com:130        BRIDGE                  just:312        com:180
   lost:124         day:122                                work:180        time:149
   home:112                                                listening:147   home:145
   listening:111   today:100                               going:139       day:134
   new:98          got:97                                  got:126         today:124
   gspn:92                                                 good:116        bed:114
   watching:92     kids:88                                 night:112       tinyurl:97
   morning:81      twitter:79                              getting:88      podcast:87
   getting:77      tinyurl:75                              dinner:85       watching:83
   lunch:74        like:72                                 like:78         mass:78
   podcast:72      watch:71                                lunch:72        new:72
   ready:70        tv:69                                   ll:70           tomorrow:69
   need:64         live:61                                 ready:64        twitter:62
   tonight:61      trying:58                               working:61      tonight:61
   love:58         cliff:58                                morning:58      need:58
   dinner:56                                               great:58        finished:55
                                                           tv:54



Information Source, Information Seeker: Different roles in different communities
 Information Source, Information Seeker: Different roles in different communities
        STAR NETWORKS /
         SMALL CLIQUES




Friendship-relation: Small groups among friends/co-workers
 Friendship-relation: Small groups among friends/co-workers
Outline
                                 Why We Twitter?
                                 Why We Twitter?


     Micro-blogging
     Micro-blogging                                 User Intentions
                                                    User Intentions
         Usage
          Usage


 USER INTENTION
 • What are the distinctive terms?                 Community-based
                                                   Community-based
 • Are there any trends?
                                                      Intentions
                                                       Intentions


                                                    Content-based
                                                    Content-based
                                                      Intentions
                                                       Intentions
Wisdom of the Crowds

                                                        log-likelihood ratio




      Popular topics: Activities, Current Events, TV shows/Entertainment
       Popular topics: Activities, Current Events, TV shows/Entertainment
Twitterment
Search and Trend analytics on Twittersphere
 Search and Trend analytics on Twittersphere   http://twitterment.umbc.edu




                                                                work
                  lunch         dinner




                                                                coffee




                                                                    chipotle
                 lunch
                                                                           panera

                 dinner
Outlook on Micro-Blogging
 § The future is here!
   Twitter,Jaiku,Pownce,FaceBook
 § Status message is now public
    – Ambient intimacy
    – Information sharing
 § Thoughts on new applications
    – Users can play different roles in different communities
    – Number of updates received can be quite overwhelming
    – New tools and services would benefit from allowing greater
      personalization based on user-intentions
      e.g. Separating work and friend social network
Conclusions
 § First study of the Microblogging phenomenon.
 § Popularity of Micro-blogging due to the combined benefits of
    – Light-weight blogging
    – and the ability to share information in the social network.
 § Main user-intentions
    –   Information sharing
    –   Information seeking
    –   Friendship
    –   Users generated content includes:
         Status updates, daily chatter, sharing links/News, etc.
 § Future Work
    – Automatically classifying the different intentions.
    – Finding frequent patterns in community structure.
Thank You!
                         Questions?



     http://twitter.com/akshayjava

Thanks to Twitter Inc. for providing the Twitter API.
Backup Slides
User Intentions

				
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