Twitter Conversation Types: New Research Findings


Back in February of 2014 the Pew Research Center released results from a study that reveals the six main types of conversations that happen on Twitter.

Te six types of Twitter conversations

The six types of Twitter conversations (Rainie, L. 2014)

In brief, the six types are:

Divided: This is typically identified by two main groups who are discussing divisive topics like politics. The groups do not tend to interact with each other or share sources of information.

Unified: This is typically groups of likeminded individuals or communities that share interests in topics like hobbies or professional organizations. They tend to share ideas, advice and opinions freely.

Fragmented: These are small groups that form around a specific brand, product, or interest. These groups typically do not have much connectivity with each other.

Clustered: These groups cluster around global news and events. They typically involve multiple news sources but are commonly disconnected from each other. Some cross connections can be made between small groups.

In-Hub Spoke: Members of this group center around news or media outlets and popular pundits.  These loyal followers often re-tweet messages of the central provider. Interactions are typically between the members and the source versus between other members.

Out-Hub Spoke: This group typically centers around an organization. It consists of a single organization communicating with a disparate group of individuals. An example of this can be an organization who provide customer service interactions via social media.

So what can be done with this knowledge? Mainly it can be used to better understand how groups are forming using Twitter. It can help marketers better understand how to target the appropriate audience. It can help shape the overall conversations being published.  It can help in engagement and help to understand the types of interactions being receive. All in all, it is just a snapshot so take it with careful consideration but it is a snapshot of a neat real time moment across the Twitter (or other) social community.

For the full report and study details visit the Pew site.


Rainie, L. The Six Types of Twitter Conversations. Retrieved May 25, 2014 from

Smith, M.A., Rainie, L., Shneiderman, B. & Himelboim, I. Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters. Pew Research Internet Project.  February 20, 2014. <;


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