Following on from today’s coverage on Mashable it was revealed through a tweet from Dustin Curtis that Justin Bieber’s Twitter account uses around 3% of Twitters server resources I thought I could explore this in some more detail. Using the principal that Justin Bieber was the most engaged Twitter account and also has the highest score based on Klout’s algorithm, I calculated the estimated Twitter server resource used for each list they were featured on. While this metric is not perfect it does provide an interesting concept on how the rise of the celebrity user may account for the re-occurrence of the Twitter fail whale in 2010.
As shown below in the chart, it’s the top few Twitter accounts that are using a far higher share of Twitter’s resources compared to a standard Twitter user. Their high follower numbers are reinforced by the sheer number of times they are featured on other power users Twitter lists and often have a majority of their tweets re-tweeted by more than 100+ users.
The chart below also shows there is a slight correlation between top users followers and the number of times they might be likely to be featured on a users Twitter list. The chart below shows that there is also a much more even spread of the number of followers and the top 100 Twitter accounts.
The chart below is almost identical in how it tapers off from the top 10 twitter accounts as the number of lists because the estimate was calculated based on the number of times they were featured on Twitter lists. I’ve calculated that the top 100 Twitter users are managing to use around 35% of all the resources leaving the remaining 65% for the other 100,000,000 Twitter users.
Below is a chart showing the distribution of the top 100 Twitter accounts based on lists shows that Justin Bieber does make up a significant proportion of resources compared to any of the other top 100 Twitter accounts. It seems likely that he could in fact account for 3% of twitter’s server usage but will the rise of more celebrities decrease his share based on % or will more fans who join Twitter follow him keeping his lead.
It’s interesting to see that some of the top 20 twitter profiles by lists subscribers feature a number of commercial businesses such as CNN, New York Times and Google, so how much support or priority will Twitter continue to provide these firms as the Twitter user base continues to grow? Twitter still is not monetising its platform as much as it can and outside Google what is the cost/benefit for continuing to support some of these power users who use around 14.4% of Twitters server capacity.
The chart below shows the estimated breakdown of Twitter resources used with a % calculated based on list subscriptions, its interesting to see that some of the original power accounts like Ashton Kutcher & Britney Spears or even Oprah Winfrey have failed to keep pace with the pop stars like Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga.
The most consistently reliable metric seems to be attributed to engagement calculated by platforms such as Klout or Twitalyzer rather than a pure focus on sheer follower numbers. Justin Bieber gets a perfect score of 100 with Klout and is noted as being in the top 99.9th percentile on Twitalyzer but has not improved his score in the last 30 days. I’ve taken some screen shots of the top 4 Twitter accounts based on the number of list subscriptions and it does show that even Klout struggles to calculate their true impact/reach.
Even with Klout’s missing metrics it still seems that a combination of List subscriptions and Klout score that you can estimate the true power of a Twitter user. Just with a glance of the 4 profiles you can be fairly confident that your Klout score is a much better metric for calculating both the importance of your Twitter account and its impact both on network reach and potential impact on Twitter resources. It’s likely that celebrities will continue cause a strain on the platforms resources even with specific servers allocated for high profile accounts their reach will continue to impact on the standard accounts due to the over reach via Twitter lists.