The Official Klout Blog

The Life of a Tweet

November 4th, 2011 by Andras Benke
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How long does your content last? We took a look at the life of a tweet for influencers with different Klout Scores. We found influencers with a Klout Score above 75 have a half-life up to 70 times longer than those with a Score between 30 and 70. Messages from these high-scoring individuals stay active and meaningful for a longer time, illustrating their influence.

Tweets created by users with a Score under 30 have a longer half-life but a much lower overall volume of retweets. Those with a Score between 30 and 70 get their messages spread out to the network within the matter of minutes, but are not as adept at having their messages last longer within their network as the highest scoring Klout users. Of course, unsurprisingly, we also noticed a growth curve where online influencers with higher Klout Scores get their messages retweeted by more users.

Check out our results below or see the full image. On top is the half-life of users with different Scores. Below, we see an increase of retweets for users with higher Klout Scores.

Behind the scenes:
We used about a week’s worth of retweet data to include users tweeting on weekdays and also those who use twitter occasionally mostly during the weekends. From this data set we filtered out those retweets which originated earlier than our sample timeframe. We also cut retweets where the original tweet was created in the last 24 hours of our sample data since a significant number of their retweets could fall out of our data set. Dealing with hundreds of millions of retweet message records we used map/reduce to group these messages by the original author and calculate aggregated information about all the their re-tweeted messages.

Let us know what you think!

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Andras Benke

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This entry was posted on Friday, November 4th, 2011 at 9:02 am and is filed under measuring influence, social media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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  • Michael Hoffman

    Since retweets directly improve Klout scores, doesn’t the lower graph merely illustrate that users who’ve gotten lots of retweets in the past also got a lot of retweets during the sample period?

  • Dan Pinnington

    More or less as would be expected (typical distribution curve), and not good news for the vast majority of us that have a Klout score less that 70. Our tweets will get lost in the raging torrent of tweets from the celebrity tweeters, unless of course we have dedicated followers that closely read our content – and IMHO content is (still) king in terms of getting people to read your stuff. Still looking for a good tool that really tells me who my best RTers are. (Google+ now has Ripples).

  • http://twitter.com/DerekTac Derek Tacconelli

    Now, _these_ are the types of analyzations people (I think) would like to see from Klout. There has been a lot of chatter lately around the recent changes to Klout and how people are ‘opting out’ because they feel their ‘score’ is irrelevant. It’s good to see that Klout is taking all their data and putting it into something that is socially good overall; somewhat of a step in the direction of developing a concrete, definitive way of making sense of something that has been deemed immeasurable.

  • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

    Should celebrities or ‘verified’ Twitter users have a different Klout ranking or scoring algorithm? Should they be excluded from having a Klout score entirely? Many of them don’t even write their own Tweets. Is it a really a level playing field?

  • sean young

    Since there is no trend for people with scores less than 75, doesn’t this only imply that those who are above 75 and extremely popular (we don’t need Klout to know who these people are) are more likely to be retweeted?

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  • http://twitter.com/robinbreve Roberto Benvenuti

    Agree. “High-scoring influencers post longer lasting content” is just “Long lasting content posts means higher-score influencers”. This article sounds like Klout is trying to find himself a meaning. Not working.

  • http://twitter.com/robinbreve Roberto Benvenuti

    Agree. “High-scoring influencers post longer lasting content” is just “Long lasting content posts means higher-score influencers”. This article sounds like Klout is trying to find himself a meaning. Not working.

  • http://twitter.com/Plain_ol_T Just plain ol’ T

    How do all those contest/win-this-prize retweets play into this? If those are included it kind of screws those of us who don’t start those types of tweets.

  • http://twitter.com/Plain_ol_T Just plain ol’ T

    How do all those contest/win-this-prize retweets play into this? If those are included it kind of screws those of us who don’t start those types of tweets.

  • http://twitter.com/trendspottr trendspottr

    The key to extending the life of a tweet as well as the amplification of that tweet is a combination of network reach, user influence and the “freshness” and quality of the content. We have witnessed first hand that users who find and publish content from TrendSpottr (http://trendspottr.com) see immediate increases in their online engagement (eg., number of followers, retweets, shares, etc) and commensurate increases in their Klout score. The reason for this is that TrendSpottr identifies early trending content for any topic of interest. More specifically, the content “spotted” by TrendSpottr is at its earliest acceleration point (ie., very early in its information cycle), has algorithmically determined “trending value” (ie., viral growth potential) and has a much higher likelihood of engaging an audience. Try it out at http://trendspottr.com and see if your Klout score increases after a week of using TrendSpottr. We think you’ll be impressed with the results! 

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  • Janetbxyz

    Nice article, but it doesn’t help me know how to increase my Klout score….

  • http://twitter.com/matthewhardnack Matthew Hardnack

    Have you looked into Crowdbooster.com? It gives you an idea of who your top retweeters are.

  • http://twitter.com/meganberry Megan Berry

    Hey Michael,

    The interesting outcome was not just that users with higher Klout Scores get more RTs (not too surprising as you point out) but that the half-life of their tweet is 70x longer (the half-life point where half of RTs happen before that time and half happen afterwards). It was surprising to see such a steep jump given, on the whole, we find Twitter to be a fast-moving platform where no one individual message lasts for that long.

    -Megan
    Marketing Manager, Klout

  • http://twitter.com/DebiAdam Debi Adam

    So the people with 0-40 and 70-75 fall in the same bucket of 25 minutes shelf life. :?

  • Michael Hoffman

    Megan,

    Thanks for replying! I agree that the first graphic is informative. It is informative because the timing of retweets does not factor into their affect on the Klout score (or so I assume). For this reason the first graphic points out a correlation between two independent phenomena.

    My comment was about the second graph (which I called the “lower graph” above). This graph illustrates the interdependency of two variables, one of which is defined to be dependent on the other. Thus, the second graph is uninformative.

    Michael

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  • http://twitter.com/eric_andersen Eric Andersen

    Silly question. When Klout refers to retweets, is it referring to Twitter’s built-in retweets, or the old-school retweets in one of various forms (RT @user, /via @user, /ht @user, “@user:”, etc)? Or some combination of the above?

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  • http://www.brilliantthinking.net Edward Terry

    Curious. I tweet out stories from my RSS reader and the stats show that most stories decay over a period of a few days. 2-3 days is the peak click-through and RT period, though some stories are now showing up for longer and their long-tail often causes them to reappear after a couple of weeks. One story has come back from the grave after almost 12 months and is now leading my “most popular” stories. We’re not talking about a huge volume of traffic – more a trickle over time, but there is a pattern in the data. And I’m only a K35 :)

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  • http://www.marketingm8.co.uk Peter L Masters MCIM

    Thanks for reminding me that my Tweets were far more effective when my Klout score was 74 than it is now you’ve dropped it to 56.

    Great PR guys!!

  • http://twitter.com/zeus8894 Andy Anderson

    Famous or semi famous users have a long shelf life on tweets not because of influence but because of automation Klout. All these auto poster aggregates pull their tweets and send them to every splog account around the web so it comes out as more retweets and a longer shelf life but it’s purely bots listening. The @reply is a greater measure of actual engagement because it’s not automated as easily and counting the loops would show you how long a conversation was carried on. Now Celeb on the planet would have a high score if this were the case but people who actually use social media daily would be all over the leader board.

  • http://twitter.com/zeus8894 Andy Anderson

    Would help if they used the right metrics though. You are excited because they told you auto spam from people with a large number of followers like a celebrity who is re-tweeted on all the gossip rags every time they run out of toilet paper and tweet for the butler to get them a roll will benefit while people who actually NETWORK on a social network are penalized for low volume regardless of real influence.

    If Brittany Spears tweets she is having her nails done will be at the salon for 2 hours, every Brittney fan site with a widget monitoring her live feed will retweet to their followers and have the tweet on their blog until Brittany tweets again. Meanwhile there is this Awesome guy with 5,000 followers who held 85 real conversations today but people hit DM, just Tweeted, or simply @replied him with no retweets would get the short end of the stick. Brittany wins having millions of followers and thousands of websites keeping her tweets alive every freaking time.

  • http://twitter.com/zeus8894 Andy Anderson

    It’s the automation factor on high end users with a large following keeping the tweets alive. With a user who has only real human followers they only get the tweet while on screen but the automated software following and retweeting celebrity and industry leader post takes time to process before it sends out the tweet, and many of them allow you to set throttling so that a tweet can be added to the Que now and then retweeted tomorrow even. This method of assessing Klout is broken, anyone with a Corporate title, celebrity status, or political office is assured of a higher score than 99% of the users will ever have a prayer to obtain.

  • http://soundcloud.com/shigga Shigga

    If I get famous off-line surely I would expect my tweets to be more influential, no?

  • http://www.marketingm8.co.uk Peter L Masters MCIM

    Great point from Brian Green and I frankly feel that Klout will soon become a place for super stars and wannabes and the social media community will either be on Empire Avenue, PeerIndex or somewhere similar that’s consistent despite ongoing development.

  • http://corp.klout.com Klout

    Hey Eric, we measure both old style and new style RTs. 

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  • http://www.der-hochzeits-dj.ch Hochzeits DJ

    Its the first time I read about klout. Have to check it out first!

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  • Guestiee

    that’s interesting but what does this prove?  That twitter is an invaluable resource, I Can’t see that I completely agree.

  • http://www.blurbpoint.com/link-building-services.php Link Building Services

    This observation for the life of the tweet done by the klout score. So now score has changed since the algorithm update of klout. So now will the user tweet life change , according to the klout score!

  • Amy Higgins

    I noticed that as well. I wonder if it is because their stream does not move as quickly as those who have a higher score.

  • http://www.BuildIdaho.com Trey Langford

    Early adapters have a huge advantage after the rest of the pool jumps in.

  • http://twitter.com/GinaCarr Gina Carr

    This is an issue that I have often wondered about.  Thanks for asking the question, Eric, and for the response, Klout.

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  • Anonymous

    A few days ago I heard about Klout but I did not pay attention; I had done the same with twitter. It took me years to like the Beatles but I’m drawing the line at rap; I simply do not appreciate that noise.

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  • http://techniciablog.blogspot.com/2011/09/top-5-android-music-player-apps.html rahul

    So its better to have klout score b/w 00 to 40 rather than b/w 40 to 70

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  • http://twitter.com/dwallberg Darrell Wallberg

    I do feel that Klout scores are in accurate and inconclusive do to not enough data collected by limited input !!!!!!

  • http://aigendigitalmarketing.com Abel Pardo

    This is a very interesting data, but like Klout measures several nets, not just twitter, I guess we have to take them carefuly because of in some case, they won’t work.

    An interesting post.

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  • http://twitter.com/DerekTac Derek Tacconelli

    Very true! There is still much work to be done!

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