Journal article

Towards more systematic Twitter analysis: metrics for tweeting activities

Information technology

Twitter is an important and influential social media platform, but much research into its uses remains centred around isolated cases – e.g. of events in political communication, crisis communication, or popular culture, often coordinated by shared hashtags (brief keywords, prefixed with the symbol ‘#’). In particular, a lack of standard metrics for comparing communicative patterns across cases prevents researchers from developing a more comprehensive perspective on the diverse, sometimes crucial roles which hashtags play in Twitter-based communication. We address this problem by outlining a catalogue of widely applicable, standardised metrics for analysing Twitter-based communication, with particular focus on hashtagged exchanges. We also point to potential uses for such metrics, presenting an indication of what broader comparisons of diverse cases can achieve.

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