Twitter statistics are being published weekly.  More and more companies are creating studies about Twitter.  Seeing a new report pop up each week in my Google Reader is becoming pretty common.  Are any of them valuable?

Pear Analytics, a US market research firm based in San Antonio, Texas, recently conducted A short-term study on the types of messages that are sent on Twitter.  Their conclusion, 41% of Tweets are “Pointless Babble”. 

I’m not here to challenge or breakdown this particular report…I’m here to challenge any and all Twitter reports about how people are using Twitter.  I do think it is valuable to know statistics like when the most tweets are sent.  But many statistics are worthless.  41% of Tweets are “Pointless Babble”?  Who cares.

There is no Twitter spam, there is no such thing as a bad Tweet, there is no Twitter “pointless babble”.  Why?

Because Twitter is only and exactly how you make it.  Period.

Twitter is anything you want it to be.  If I have spam in my Twitter feed, it is 100% my fault.  No one can send me a DM (Direct Message) without me following them first, and anyone who I perceive to be sending spam, I have the option to unfollow.  If anyone is sending “pointless babble”, I can choose to unfollow them if I perceive their tweets to be of no value.

Most Twitter statistics are junk because they miss the point of the social network, it’s what we make of it.  One man’s “pointless babble” is another man’s treasure.  If you read behind the lines of many of these reports, you can sometimes find some hidden gems.  But their conclusions are often weighted or at least biased.

Here’s a quick list of some Twitter Statistics I’ve created:

  • 84% of Tweeters have complained about spam in a tweet
  • 100% of Tweeters have spam because they followed a spammer
  • 73% of research firms create Twitter statistics solely because they know they’ll get instant free PR