December 28, 2008

Retweets and Twitter Bots

There is recently a lot of discussion going on concerning the authority of Twitter users : Michael Arrington, Robert Scoble, Loic Le Meur. Some bloggers propose that the number of followers is a good measure of the authority of a Twitter user. Others argue that other elements should be taken into account, e.g. the number of retweets. A retweet is when a Twitter user copies a twitter message from another Twitter user in their network and shares it with their network, hereby mentioning the author of the original Twitter message.

As Loic Le Meur stated that there were over 7,000 tweets for the Le Web 3 conference that was held in the beginning of December 2008, I checked the number of search results produced by Twitter Search (previously Summize). I came accross a remarkable sequence of tweets. Have a look yourself, e.g. by trying this search.

One tweet (by dotdean) is retweeted by several Twitter bots, resulting in 10 additional tweets. You can find the sequence of all these tweets in the graphic below.

Furthermore 10 additional URL shortcuts were created :,,,,,,,,, and

With this example in mind, I think there are some problems by taking the number of retweets into account for the authority of a Twitter user.

December 14, 2008

First State of the Twitosphere in Malaysia

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. In the series of states of the Twitosphere on this blog, I did not yet publish a state of the Twitosphere for a Southeast Asian country. The first question in such an analysis is the number of Twitter users in Malaysia. Twitter user search is already disabled for a while, so I cannot inform you on the number of Twitter users in Malaysia according to Twitter itself.

Based on the location info in the Twitter profiles, I was able to find 3429 Twitter users in Malaysia, all active users. These users make an explicit reference to Malaysia, the country itself or a geographical location within this country. Persons who have closed their Twitter accounts are not included in this number. Because the number of Twitter users not mentioning a true location in their Twitter profile is estimated at around 50%, the actual number of Twitter users in Malaysia will probably exceed 3429. With a population of 27,730,000 people (source Wikipedia), the Twitter user density for Malaysia is one Twitter account for every 8087 inhabitants.

History of the Twitter accounts in Malaysia
The graph below shows the history of the Twitter accounts from Malaysia. The graph is based on the date of the first message posted on each of the public Twitter accounts. Twitter users who haven't published any messages and Twitter users with a private profile (their messages are only visible for their approved followers) are not included in this graph. Twitter started late in Malaysia. The oldest Twitter users date back from March 2006. Only 6 months later first users from Malaysia started using Twitter.

Oldest Twitter accounts from Malaysia - Adriana - first message on August 27, 2006 - Adam Giles - first message on September 4, 2006 - Praveen Rajan - first message on September 5, 2006 - Clowve - first message on October 4, 2006 - Jerry Ong - first message on October 6, 2006 - syed syahrul zarizi - first message on October 31, 2006 - tropicaljantie - first message on November 3, 2006 - Renee - first message on November 3, 2006 - SmartGuy - first message on November 9, 2006 - bee - first message on November 21, 2006

Private or public
309 Twitter acounts from Malaysia or 9% have chosen to keep their updates only available to their friends.

Number of following
A Twitter user can choose to follow one or more other Twitter accounts, called "following". 682 Twitter accounts from Malaysia or 20% do not follow other Twitter users. An average Twitter account from Malaysia follows 34 Twitter accounts.

Top 10 following - Mayen - 2,858 following - thangwai - 2,051 following - home_remedies - 2,000 following - LearnOnlineBiz - 2,000 following - Ibrahim - 2,000 following - Ashique M. Abdullah - 2,000 following - vacom - 1,999 following - Esther Cheang SK - 1,998 following - Gloson Teh - 1,991 following - Mohd. Razali - 1,979 following

Number of followers
A follower is someone who has indicated another Twitter account as following and receives all updates of that other Twitter account. 77 Twitter users from Malaysia or 2% have no Twitter followers at all, meaning that no one else on Twitter has indicated this account as following. The messages published by these Twitter users are only read by themselves (and by search engines). An average Twitter user from Malaysia has 31 followers.

Top 10 followers - Gloson Teh - 1,790 followers - I-Ming - 1,711 followers - home_remedies - 1,339 followers - LearnOnlineBiz - 1,095 followers - Chetz Yusof - 1,032 followers - bobkor - 839 followers - Wayne Liew - 820 followers - Ibrahim - 816 followers - euginn - 766 followers - Jerry Ong - 751 followers

An update is the term refering to Twitter messages published by a Twitter users. These are also called tweets. The average number of updates for a Twitter users from Malaysia is 123. 205 Twitter users (or 6%) are still waiting for their first message to be published. Below you can find the top 10.

Top 10 updates - Sparkish - 15,905 updates - New Straits Times - 11,703 updates - Lan Rasso - 9,458 updates - I follow Penangites! - 7,074 updates - FateMeh - 5,712 updates - NeonPlanet - 4,763 updates - Liew Cheon Fong - 4,522 updates - I-Ming - 3,800 updates - reese spykerman - 3,638 updates - Johan F. Khairuddin - 3,505 updates

Degree of activity
29% of all Twitter users from Malaysia have publised at least one message in the last 7 days.
41% of all Twitter users from Malaysia have not published a message for more than a month.
9% of all Twitter users from Malaysia is private, so no information on their degree activity is available.
On 6% of the Twitter accounts from Malaysia not a single message has been published.

The results of the analysis of the state of the twitosphere in Malaysia are comparable to the results for other previously analyzed countries.

From August 2006 there were a few Malaysian users from Twitter. A first increase in popularity occured around March 2007. A next increase in popularity of Twitter started from April/May 2008, followed by a next increase in adoption speed from November 2008. Compared to the Western European countries the Twitter user density is still lower, so there are probably further a lot of people in Malaysia to be convinced of the use of Twitter.