Moving outside the view of what that means for brands who are doing the publishing it seems this also may say something about how the use of Twitter by the average person is changing. It’s hard for me to read this and not think it’s part of a shift toward Twitter becoming more of a passive platform for those in the “audience,” who are increasingly being asked to see it as a consumption took and not something for them to add original content to.
Twitter obviously wants more second tier engagement if the reports of the company testing out replacing the Favorite feature with a Like button. It’s a much lower bar to clear for someone to say they “Like” someone’s update than that it’s a “Favorite” and therefore has the potential to be much more widely used. It also mimics, obviously, behavior that’s already widespread on Facebook.
Back to the the study, it also shows that the number of followers the average person talking about a brand has is rising and that the number of updates about a brand that also include a link is dropping. So combined the picture shows that more people are amplifying a brand’s messaging (often without a link) in a much more passive way to a broader swath of people.
Again, there are upsides to this for brand managers and downsides as well. But the whole study is worth taking a look at as a picture of how corporate audience engagement is continuing to shift.