Pop Created the Twitter Link Farm

Many people complain about Twitter becoming a stream of links. Now a research report supports their claims, but the surprising reason for the shift is an increase in popularity some users receive, as noted by larger follower counts.

Two professors studied 2500 people on Twitter, and then artificially inflated some of the subject group’s Twitter accounts with new followers. The surprise result?

The newly popular Twitterati found that they couldn’t keep growing their accounts by just sounding off or offering day in the life content. To keep the momentum going they increased frequency posting links and updates, and found that stopped impacting their growth, too.

When that failed, the average follower stopped communicating. They just stopped.

Instead, they started viewing Twitter as a static medium, going in and browsing, and then leaving. Much like one would treat TV. And the posts that are left? Well, those are the links. The study concludes the more links that are on Twitter, the less conversation there will be.

I’ve been on Twitter since March, 2007. While my account never exploded like some of my peers, I have seen relatively consistent growth. Sometimes I have offered more link posts on their to grow my account, and currently, I do less of that (but still some). As you can see by the above chart, that’s never really impacted my growth one way or the other. I never left the Twitter conversation, though.

What causes an account to still grow? The truth? I can only say that I have strived to share useful or fun content, and to be present for others.

Plus, frankly, I enjoy talking with people on Twitter, much more so than Facebook. I know Facebook is more dynamic, but… I think that enjoyment shines through.

However, striking up conversations on Twitter is harder by the month. As the study indicates, the link stream gets thicker. And the genuine @s seem to be dissippating.

What do you think?