Kate Greene

A View from Kate Greene

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.

Hear more about Twitter at EmTech MIT 2017.

Register now

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look: exclusive early access to important stories, before they’re available to anyone else

    Insider Conversations: listen in on in-depth calls between our editors and today’s thought leaders

  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning magazine and daily delivery of The Download, our newsletter of what’s important in technology and innovation.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.