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Twitter: High on celebrity gossip, low on news discussion - Knowledge@SMU

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Twitter facts

Twitter Inc is worth 10 times the amount that the New York Times is worth (by market cap) despite Twitter being mostly about celebrities and brands.

Maybe that's not despite. Maybe it's the creator of the value:

The results showed that though Twitter and NYT cover similar sets of categories, their relative degrees of presence differed. For instance, 'style' is a strong category on Twitter but not on NYT. Twitter also had relatively more tweets and users discussing entity-oriented topics, compared to NYT. In contrast, event-oriented topics are less popular on Twitter.

“We suspect that many entity-oriented topics are about celebrities and brands, and these tend to attract Web users’ attention,” the researchers wrote. So they looked at the entity-oriented topics on Twitter and found that 10 of the 19 entity-oriented topics were on celebrities, and the rest, on brands and companies.

The researchers also noted that while coverage of the ‘Arts’ was relatively similar across both mediums, the nature of the topics covered within the category differed. Entity-oriented topics such as “Lady Gaga” and “Chris Brown” would appear more frequently on Twitter but receive less attention on NYT. On the other hand, topics such as “museum” and “history” received more coverage on NYT, compared to Twitter.

The researchers found, additionally, that opinions and expressions differed greatly between both mediums. They noted that though 'Education' was not a popular category on Twitter, the total number and proportion of opinionated tweets ranked highly. Other categories, such as 'Tech-sci', 'Business' and 'World', were ranked in the middle on number of tweets but they were ranked lowly on opinionated tweets.

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