About seven out of 10 tweets on Twitter are ignored, an indication that a lot of the comments on the microblogging site are not worth a reply or passing along to others, a study shows.
Of the 29% of tweets that did spark a reaction, 19.3% were retweets, which means someone republished the original tweet and the remainder were replies, Sysomos, the social media analytics company that conducted the study, said Tuesday.
In examining 1.2 billion tweets in the last two months, Sysomos found that the vast majority of retweets, 92.4%, happened within the first hour of the original tweet. Similarly, 96.9% of replies to tweets occurred in the first hour.
In looking closer at those tweets that generated replies, 85% had only one reply and another 10.7% attracted a reply to the first reply. However, only 1.53% of Twitter conversations generated a third level of replies.
The study validates what many people say of Twitter, that most comments on the site are mundane or too much about the doings of an individual that few people know.
"An awful lot of activity on Twitter is basically ignored," Mark Evans, spokesman for Sysomos told InformationWeek. "For people who think a lot of fluffy stuff goes on on Twitter, this validates that."
However, the study's findings do not mean that Twitter has no value as a way for people and companies to generate interest in particular topics or products. Instead, the study shows that if someone on Twitter wants to attract attention, than their tweets need to be engaging, educational or entertaining. "Content is king and that even applies to Twitter," Evans said.
Despite the lack of compelling content, Twitter continues to excite users. The company reported last month that since mid-April, 62% of the people accessing the site did so through their handheld devices, rather than wait to post through a computer. Twitter has more than 145 million registered users.