The Effect of Mobile Platforms on Twitter Content Generation
The increased popularity of feature-rich mobile devices in recent years has enabled widespread consumption and production of social media content via mobile devices. Because mobile devices and mobile applications change context within which an individual generates and consumes microblog content, we might expect microblogging behavior to differ depending on whether the user is using a mobile device. To our knowledge, little has been established about what, if any, effects such mobile interfaces have on microblogging. In this paper, we investigate this question within the context of Twitter, among the most popular microblogging platforms. This work makes three specific contributions. First, we quantify the ways in which user profiles are effected by the mobile context: (1) the extent to which users tend to be either fully non-mobile or mobile and (2) the relative activity of the mobile Twitter community. Second, we assess the differences in content between mobile and non-mobile tweets (posts to the Twitter platform). Our results show that mobile platforms produce very different patterns of Twitter usage. As part of our analysis, we propose and apply a classification system for tweets. We consider this to be the third contribution of this work. While other classification systems have been proposed, ours is the first to permit the independent encoding of a tweet’s form, content, and intended audience. In this paper we apply this system to show how tweets differ between mobile and non-mobile contexts. However, because of its flexibility and breadth, the schema may be useful to researchers studying Twitter content in other contexts as well.