Twitter’s Suggested Users are Less ReTweetable

I spoke at the 140 Twitter Conference this week and during my panel Robert Scoble asked me if I had any ReTweets-per-Follower (RTpF) data on users listed on Twitter’s official suggested users list. I didn’t but I realized it would be a very interesting data point to look at.

I looked at the roughly 200 suggested users and compared them to the 200 most followed users not on the list. Since many of the suggested users are the most followed people on Twitter, they had a much higher average number of followers.

However when I looked at the average number of Tweets-per-Day (TpD) posted by suggested users versus non-suggested top users, I found that non-suggested users tended to Tweet a bit more frequently.

Then I started looking at ReTweets-per-Day (RTpD) and found that since they have so many more followers, suggested users are ReTweeted somewhat more often.

To control for the difference in follower counts, I then calculated each user’s number of ReTweets-per-Day (RTpD) divided by the number of followers they had and found that non-suggested users tend to have more ReTweets-per-Follower (RTpF), meaning they have, on average more ReTweet-friendly followers.

I then calculated my favorite ReTweet metric, ReTweetability. That is the number of ReTweets-per-Day divided by the number of Tweets-per-Day over follower counts.

This is designed to control not only for differences in follower numbers, but also for differences in tweeting-frequency to show just the “virality” of their content and their followers. (I’ve written about this metric before.)

The result is clear, suggested users are far less ReTweetable. I think this is likely due to the fact that many of the followers gained by those users on the suggested list are new Twitter users and may be less ReTweet-savvy.