Twitter is like high school all over again, study reveals

The jocks. The nerds. The beautiful people. The theater kids. The hippies. The band geeks. Remember all those social groups back in high school? It’s pretty much the same deal when it comes to Twitter, a social media platform where you’re bound to join a clique you identify most with, based on a newly published study conducted by Princeton University and the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway.

As part of the social experiment, researchers had to analyze clique activity in Twitter and sift through tweet conversations – a total of over 200 million tweets – shared between January 2007 and November 2009 by an average of 250,000 users. Through the words used in these tweets plus a few algorithms, they were able to segregate users into their respective communities. Even though the supplemental page that went with the published study identifies communities by number, a spreadsheet classifying represented cliques is made available by the Guardian, revealing “the largest group found in the analysis was made up of African Americans using the words ‘N**ga’, ‘poppin’ and ‘chillin’.” The study obviously reflected Twitter activity associated with the recently concluded SXSW conference, because the next largest group is comprised of those who attended the festival in Austin, Texas.  Other social groups that dominated include members of a social movement, tweeters from the U.K., novel and comic geeks, American right-wing supporters, software developers, foodies, Justin Bieber die-hards, and porn enthusiasts.  These results are verified by the graphic provided below, which not only divides users by word usage, but also illustrates how they interact with one another: 

twitter-communities

If you will read through the detailed list, you will notice a lot of these words are misspelled, including words that end with double the last letter, a habit prominently exhibited by Justin Bieber fans, according to Vincent Jansen, professor at the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway.  “Just as people have varying regional accents, we also found that communities would misspell words in different ways,” Jansen stated.  Which of these words do you use?  Knowing what these commonly used (and misspelled) terms are can certainly enable you to easily identify with a clique (in case didn’t already have an idea what group you feel at home with) and conduct tweet discussions with users from a specific group.

The team behind this social experiment is optimistic that the results they have gathered in the last four years could pave the way to improved methods of engaging with users as well as better understanding of language evolution as shown by the many social cliques on Twitter.

Product Review

Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the simplest entry into a smarter doorway

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 may lack the style and sophistication of premium door-dingers, but few can match its simplicity and versatility. The device, available in both wired and wireless configurations, is easy to set up and adds instant…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Smart Home

Ring security camera catches man licking the doorbell for hours

A family in Salinas, California had their Ring camera capture something pretty unexpected: a man licking the doorbell outside of their home for more than three hours. The incident took place around 5:00 a.m.
Health & Fitness

In search of the fountain of youth, beauty companies turn to tech

Beauty tech is a fairly new concept, but at CES 2019, companies such as Olay, L’Oreal, and Neutrogena were fully embracing it with all kinds of gadgets that promise to give you glowing skin.
Smart Home

GHSP makes a (back)splash with its touchscreen concept kitchen

One of the coolest concept kitchens from CES 2019 came from GHSP. It created a backsplash entirely made of touchscreens. That means the control panel for your kitchen is accessible no matter where you are.
Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Contemporary review

Tired of carrying around keys? Make keyless entry so easy that all you have to do is have your phone nearby to open the door. It’s a little pricey, but sleek lines and simple features make the Kwikset Kevo Contemporary a great choice for…
Smart Home

Airbnb says sorry to guest for how it dealt with undisclosed security camera

An Airbnb guest recently found a surveillance camera in his rental apartment that hadn't been properly disclosed in the listing. The firm admits its initial response to the guest's complaint was poor, but has since made amends.
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Smart Home

Want a smarter home? Ditch the keys with these great smart locks

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Smart Home

Busted: Facebook Portal gets 5-star reviews from company employees

It's fair to say that Facebook's Portal smart display received a tepid response at launch, so it was something of a surprise to see lots of glowing reviews of the device on Amazon. Turns out some were written by Facebook workers.