Study finds that when we tweet from mobiles, it’s much more likely to be about us

I wrote recently about the increasing level of insights we can glean about people from the content they share on Twitter.  It found that we can gain a decent understanding as to the income of users from the tweets they make.

Now, a second study is exploring the egocentricity of posts based upon the device used to send the tweets.

The researchers conducted a detailed analysis of tweets to explore whether the content we share differed when we posted via a mobile site.

Mobile tweeting

For instance, were tweets more likely to be egocentric when posted on a desktop or mobile device?

Over a six week period over 230 million tweets were crawled, with a common psychological method then used to analyze the language used.  This involved testing the frequency and ratio of words normally associated with certain characteristics.

It emerged that whilst tweets sent from mobile devices weren’t noticeably more egocentric than tweets sent from desktop devices, the ratio of egocentric vs non-egocentric tweets was substantially more on mobile devices.

It’s believed that this is one of the first studies to explore the role platforms play in the way we engage online, and in particular the kind of language we use.

“Very little work has been done comparing how our social media activities vary from mobile to non-mobile. And as we increasingly use social media from mobile devices, the context in which one uses social media is a critical object of study,” the authors conclude. “Our work is transformative in this understudied field as we found that not all tweets are the same and the source of tweets does influence tweeting patterns, like how we are more likely to tweet with negative language from mobile devices than from web-based ones.”


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