To measure interactivity in Twitter, I counted @’s in tweetstreams. The @ symbol means that message is a retweet, a public reply, or a reference to somebody else on Twitter for all to see. Any message (tweet) with an @ symbol in it is interactive; anything without it is flat and 1-way. By scanning 1,500 tweets on the public timeline across a weeknight, weekend and weekday we can understand how the general public is using Twitter.

The results? For every 5 tweets, only 2 contained an @ symbol. That’s means we’re interacting with others in just 40% of our messages. The other 60% of the tweets are 1-way blasts sent into the Twittersphere.

Metrics on hashtags and links will be discussed in future posts.

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Ever wonder how many people are writing about you right now? If you’re Google Chrome, the new browser they just launched an hour ago, it’s roughly 200 people per minute.

Put another way, over 12,000 twitter posts discussed Google Chrome in its first hour of launch. Granted, some people posted multiple updates so it wasn’t 12,000 people but that’s still a huge number of contributors.

How many others just read those 12,000 posts without writing about it? As a rough guess, let’s say the average twitter account follows 50 people. Assuming every update is pushed out to every feed, that’s 600,000 impressions. We don’t know the Twitter algorithm to be exact but with these numbers we can estimate about a half-million impressions in the first hour of launch.

A half-million impressions for free? In one hour? Not a bad little word of mouth tool.

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measuring social media buzz

How I measured: I searched “chrome” on http://www.summize.com. 20 seconds later it updated to say “x more results since you started searching. Refresh to see them“. That number accumulates every 20 seconds. I recorded each update.