Business - Written by Denis Hancock on Monday, November 23, 2009 16:59 - 7 Comments
Twitter popularity: follower vs. list counts
Follower counts have long provided a decent indicator of a Twitter account’s popularity – though they are relatively easily gamed if you put your mind to it. In October, Twitter launched Lists – “A great way to organize the people you follow and discover new and interesting accounts.” In short, twitter users can make any type of list they want (funny, smart, brands, etc.), and identify accounts they find interesting under each header.
This is obviously another indicator of popularity – the more lists you are on, the more popular you probably are. In turn, one would guess that in most cases there is a high correlation between how many followers an account has, and how many lists they are on. While I don’t have the numbers to back it up, overall I think this is generally true. But I found one particularly interesting anomaly that I wanted to highlight.
The bio for @Agent_M is “editor for Marvel.com. Writer, blogger, loves tacos, tattoos, comics…”. The bio for @Marvel is “the official Twitter for Marvel Comics, Movies, Games and More.” So one account is thoughts from a Marvel editor, while the other is generally content from Marvel itself. Here are the relevant follower and list numbers (as of last week):
@Agent_M: 1.4 million followers, 1,234 lists
@Marvel: 43,000 followers, 1,467 lists
So if you look at straight follower counts, @Agent_M (the editor) is roughly 30 times more popular than @Marvel – an interesting story unto itself. But if you look at the number of times listed, @Marvel is actually a bit more popular. Looking at it another way, divide lists Marvel is on by total followers you get 3.4%; for Agent_M you get 0.1%.
That’s a huge difference. The question I have for Wikinomics readers is why is that – and what does it mean?
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