A Content-based Analysis of Interestingness on Twitter

author: Jérôme Kunegis, Institute for Web Science and Technologies (WeST), University of Koblenz-Landau
published: July 19, 2011,   recorded: June 2011,   views: 415


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On the microblogging site Twitter, users can forward any message they receive to all of their followers. This is called a retweet and is usually done when users find a message particularly interesting and worth sharing with others. Thus, retweets reflect what the Twitter community considers interesting on a global scale, and can be used as a function of interestingness to generate a model to describe the content-based characteristics of retweets. In this paper, we analyze a set of high- and low-level content-based features on several large collections of Twitter messages. We train a prediction model to forecast for a given tweet its likelihood of being retweeted based on its contents. From the parameters learned by the model we deduce what are the influential content features that contribute to the likelihood of a retweet. As a result we obtain insights into what makes a message on Twitter worth retweeting and, thus, interesting.

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