Is Twitter A Conversation Or An Echo Chamber?

Is Twitter a conversation or an echo chamber? Is it a place people come to engage in discussions with one another or simply a place to shout to the masses? While the company itself does not publish daily statistics about its service, we can construct an estimate of the platform's size and characteristics using its "Spritzer" data stream – a 1% random sample of all tweets that correlates nearly perfectly with the full Twitter dataset, allowing us to trace Twitter's evolution over the past decade. The timeline below shows the percentage of daily tweets that are retweets, showing that from just 20% of all tweets a decade ago to more than half of the total daily Twitter volume today, retweets have come to dominate the Twitterverse. More and more, Twitter is a place to amplify the views of others, rather than provide your own.

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