Over 50% Twitter Links Shared Go Unclicked: Study

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 22, 2016

TwitterA joint study by Microsoft and Columbia University, which collected data for over a month and took in to account 2.8 million tweets, including shared links to BBC, CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, and the Huffington Post have concluded that more than 59 per cent of the links shared on Twitter, remains unnoticed or unclicked. While those who share their content online plan according to how effective their broadcast will be, they ought to now know that over 59 per cent are never really clicked or visited!

A quote from the authors of the study said, “…there seems to be vastly more niche content that users are willing to mention in Twitter than… content that they are actually willing to click on.” It also mentioned that only a small number of ‘blockbuster’ articles accounted for more than 90 per cent of the Twitter clicks, pointing towards a niche section of content providers who have their way on the social media channel.

There are observations in the study, where by some of the greatest hit articles (or most clicked), also had a long tail of viewership online. This means that after the 24-hour period of surge ended, there were consistent drip of shares and clicks on the links over the period of next few days; quiet the surprise considering Twitter has the reputation of being a ‘live medium’. 

Considering how news is spread these days, user behavior also indicates that sensationalism might be good for the initial attention, but could end up being a self-defeatist strategy to adopt. The study quoted, “Sensational or misleading heads may be more useful for social sharers looking to make a point about themselves, than for actual readers trying to curate their information intake.”  Hence, the trick is to look at a balance between ’sensationalist’ or ‘clickbait’ style headlines and actual substance about sharing on Twitter. 

With the trends of sharing of ’shallow dressed’ content being common these days, there could be valid arguments about how that could promote an environment negative criticism, trolling, hoaxing and the spread of general discontent in the online environment. But then, that is a reality that many have faced.