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How People Use Twitter to Search The Web

A survey reveals how Twitter users find information using the service.
March 16, 2009

Last week, we wrote about speculation that Twitter could be used to improve web search. One of the people I talked to for that story was Danny Sullivan, editor at Search Engine Land. Sullivan recently conducted an informal survey looking at how Twitter users search for information. On Friday he posted the results.

Here’s a summary:

  • Half of all users ask a question using Twitter at least once per week.
  • 40% say they are are “usually” satisfied with the answers they get.
  • Nearly half of all users say they ask questions on Twitter either because they trust their friends (or followers) more than normal search results or because they are seeking expert answers.
  • 40% say they use Twitter to find out about “real time” issues or to get a variety of opinions.
  • Nearly 70% say that the questions they ask are related to computers or the internet; 44% asks questions about Twitter; 41% ask about shopping or products.
  • Only 4% of users say they could give up a traditional search engine for Twitter.
Sullivan’s full post on the survey is somewhat long, but worth looking at for its graphs and other insights about searching with Twitter.

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