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Researcher cracks the code on what makes a tweet popular

Christopher Null | June 3, 2013
It's all about early retweets.

For business users, the ramifications of Zaman's research are intriguing. Traditionally, Twitter marketers will compose a tweet, send it out, and wait for hours to see if it managed to gather a critical mass. Zaman says that's folly: If you aren't seeing a near-immediate pickup of your tweets, your best move is to try again with a new one rather than hope that the original will eventually find its mark. "It doesn't matter if you have a lot of followers or a few. If you don't hit a critical mass in the first few minutes, the chances are very slim that your tweet will have broad appeal," says Zaman.

Zaman also sees applications for those who use Twitter to advertise. Tweets that show early promise using Zaman's algorithm might be marked to be promoted, comfortable in the knowledge that they'll gain an even greater audience through other users jumping on the bandwagon.


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