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[liberationtech] Study on Twitter Audiences of MSM News Accounts

Gilad Lotan gilad at
Tue Aug 2 07:39:20 PDT 2011

We've just come out with a study on the Twitter audiences of mainstream media news accounts where we compared between the followers of BBC News, CNN, The Economist, New York Times, Al-Jazeera and Fox News. We included a bunch of visualizations, and topical network graphs that can be downloaded. 

One interesting finding from our data was seeing just how different audiences behave. For example, words like 'crime' and 'murder' drive the highest traffic to Fox News. Also, in general Fox News does an amazing job at generating traffic. Yet its audience is fairly quiet on Twitter, not posting much content, and certainly not retweeting much.

Al-Jazeera, on the other hand, is building an incredibly active following, made up of very active and advanced Twitter users. While they often retweet its content, the total click-through rates that we see are substantially lower.

This raises an interesting issue. We're obsessed with quantifying the amount of traffic driven to a website, but have little to no means to understand audience "engagement" and growth. In this study we try to tackle this question, along with other fun data:

Comments, reactions and thoughts appreciated
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