Java, A., Song, X., Finin, T., & Tseng, B. (2007). Why we twitter: understanding microblogging usage and communities. Proceedings of the 9th WebKDD and 1st SNA-KDD 2007 workshop on Web mining and social network analysis, WebKDD/SNA-KDD ’07 (pp. 56–65). New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1348549.1348556
This research was conducted to find out why people use twitter. It explores the usage of Twitter as well as the communities formed in Twitter.
They collected 1.3 million tweets from 70,000 unique users. The HITS algorithm was used to determine the authority of the user. They then studied the connections of users (looked almost like network analysis). After this, the author sorted out each tweet into categories.
They found there are 4 main user intentions when posting content: (1) daily chatter, (2) conversations, (3) sharing information/URLs, and (4) reporting news. They were also able to identify the 3 types of users: (1) information source, (2) friends, (3) information seeker.
This is a great article. It is important to know why people use social media, not only for advertising and marketing, but for studies into how humans work. Why do we do anything? This study answered just that in regards to why we Twitter.