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June 28, 2011

Twitter Becoming a Hub for Users' Questions

By Tammy Wolf, TMCnet Web Editor

With the speed in which social networking is gaining traction in every aspect of our lives, it may not be too far off that contestants on the game show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” are allowed to “tweet a friend.”

According to Mashable.com, Twitter (News - Alert) users are taking to the social networking site to cast out their loaded questions, ranging from product comparisons to finding the best recipe for home-made raspberry cheesecake – and the majority are getting answers in return.

Every month, an estimated 3 million questions are spread throughout Twitter cyberspace, according to Mashable.com, which broke down the stats in a rather fun and constructive infographic, revealing for certain that Twitter has become a true Q&A tool.

According to the infographic, which tracked the questions asked throughout the month of April, an average of 102,322 questions were asked every day, with product recommendations making up the majority at 13 percent. Other categories like tech support, entertainment, health and music followed, while photography, auto and finance advice were the least sought-after.

Sixty-seven percent of those with 100 followers sought answers for their troubles, and 33 percent of those with less than 100 followers pegged their friends with inquiries. For both groups, asking followers deemed to be the most popular way to collect answers, while an @reply was the second choice.

But, is anyone really listening? According to the stats, people with more followers are more likely to receive a response as a larger percentage of users with 100-plus followers obtain the answers to the questions they ask. Complete strangers sometimes chimed in, especially in response to accounts with more than 100 followers.

Of course, with a smaller pool of followers, the more likely you may not get the answer you want. According to the infographic, 32 percent of accounts with fewer than 100 followers were displeased with responses, compared to the 49 percent that were satisfied.

While Twitter may function as a method of keeping up with friends, it’s also a gateway to business contacts, as demonstrated by this final stat. People with higher follower counts are more likely to receive a response from non-following businesses without even seeking out their input in the first place.

So next time you are in dire need of an answer, Yahoo News recommends adding the #lazyweb hashtag to your tweet, which will ultimately cast your question out to people outside your network.


Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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