A celebration for Twitter! …and its trolls • Tony McManus on 6PR

30 March 2016 12:19 pm

Happy 10th birthday Twitter! While most 10 year old birthday parties are all about fairy bread, party pies and cake, Twitter decided to celebrate by unveiling some interesting statistics… and it’s fair to say the rich and famous still dominate the platform.

Pop princess Katy Perry boasts the most followers (with a little over 85 million), but the most-mentioned person is Justin Bieber – who wins the silver medal for amount of followers (nearly 78 million).

The tweeter with the most re-tweeted tweet isn’t a member of Gen Y. Rather, comedian Ellen DeGeneres scooped the title by dragging in a legion of Hollywood A-listers for the most epic selfie of our time. The incredible photobomb was shared 3.3 million times!

While Twitter users love their celebs, it seems they also love… love! The word “love” has been mentioned a whopping 34.8 BILLION times, while the “tears of joy” emoji proved to be the most popular of its kind having been used 14.5 billion times.

While those statistics make it seem like all sunshine and lollipops in Twitter-land, plenty of trolls emerged from their cyber-bridges to taunt Tay – an artificially intelligent “chatbot” created by Microsoft and hosted on Twitter.

The millennial-inspired character was pulled a day after launch after a coordinated group of users worked to manipulate the bot, resulting in some very off-colour tweets from Tay.

From the impure, to the ultra-pure – Instagram gained a very high profile new user this week in the form of Pope Francis, whose account quickly proved to be a record-breaker.

Following an impressive Twitter debut a few years back, the Pope continued in fine form attracting more than a million followers in the first 12 hours of his Insta-life. The big question though – will he follow anyone back? At this stage, it’s a big fat no.

At least the Pope won’t have to buy into the uproar about Instagram’s new algorithm. Given the platform is owned by Facebook, it’s no surprise the feed is being tweaked in line with the social media juggernaut.

Rather than posts appearing in chronological order, Instagram will now choose what users see and when “based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post”.

While the changes are likely to unsettle users, it’s unlikely they’ll hate them enough to ditch the platform.

Facebook’s “On This Day” feature also proved divisive upon its launch, but has stood the test of time – well, a year – to mark its first anniversary this week.

The nostalgia hit has largely been a success, much in the same way as Twitter’s #myfirsttweet tool, and is now enjoyed by 60 million daily active users and 155 subscribers (who receive notifications abut their past Facebook activity).

Listen to the full interview with 6PR’s Tony Mac below, or follow Meg on Twitter at @TexanMeg.

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