June 20, 2016
Twitter might not be the best place to get eyes on your content, a newly released study has found.
Microsoft and Columbia University researchers collaborating on the study discovered a whopping 59 percent of URLs shared on Twitter have never been clicked, meaning they are “silent.”
“We merged URLs pointing to the same article, so out of 10 articles mentioned on Twitter, six typically on niche topics are never clicked,” the study reads. “Because silent URLs are so common, they actually account for a significant fraction (15 percent) of the whole shares we collected, more than one out of seven. An interesting paradox is that there seems to be vastly more niche content that users are willing to mention in Twitter than the content that they are actually willing to click on.”
The study looks at five popular news domains on Twitter: BBC, CNN, Fox News, The New York Times and The Huffington Post. The data was collected over a one-month period and included 2.8 million shares on Twitter.
The study found that although “promotion remains an effective medium to get your content known, the large popularity of the most successful domains is truly due to a long-tail effect of niche URLs. In summary, the pattern of clicks created from social media clearly favors a blockbuster model: infrequent niche URLs—whatever numerous they are—are generally seen by few users overall and hence have little to no effect on clicks, while successful URLs are seen by a large number (at least 100,000) of the users.”
To read the study in its entirety, click here.