Giving credit on Twitter

The European Commission’s EMPL presence on Twitter in 2012: Favourited tweets and replies

Favouriting a tweet is a Twitter function copied from a browser menu (options), when favouriting or bookmarking a webpage. When a user favourites a tweet, the author of the original is notified. In the case of our research question, it is important to find out who favourited the tweets, what are their user profiles and location. This piece of information provides evidence on potential disseminators and the favourited tweets, which are relevant engagement parameters.

Generally speaking a favourite on Twitter is seen as a way of giving credit. It is somehow similar to the Facebook (FB) ‘Like’, which has seen a much higher adoption, being more popular among the FB users. A “favourite” has a lower level of commitment than a RT and it is less public. One can also favourite a tweet for a later use since it is saved in the “Favourites” section of each user.

The three Twitter account holders benefited from this option being used by the followers as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Favourited tweets, occurrences by user and favourited tweet reciprocity

Table 1: Favourited tweets, occurrences by user and favourited tweet reciprocity

The statistics indicate that EURes leads with 35% of favourited tweets with an occurrence of 70%, probably because of the practical information provided through guidelines to job-seekers. The three account holders favourited each other’s tweets as shown in Table 1.

It appears that favouriting each other’s tweets was not a priority of the three account holders as they preferred to retweet more than favouriting each other’s tweets.

A number of 138 Twitter users favourited 14% of the Social Europe tweets with an occurrence rate of 20% (Figure 1). 159 Twitter users favourited 35% of the EURes tweets with an occurrence rate of 70%. 121 Twitter users favourited 23% of Commissioner Andor’s tweets with an occurrence of 29%.

Figure 1: Favourite tweets

Figure 1: Favourite tweets

On average, 418 Twitter users favourited 21% of all the three user tweets, with an occurrence of 33%. The favourited tweets are discussed in a forthcoming article that focuses on “Engagement”.

Replies to tweets

A Twitter reply is a tweet sent in direct response to another tweet. The response is linked to that tweet. On the Twitter timeline, when someone clicks on the concerned tweet the page expands to show the reply, so both the tweet and the reply are paired. In recent times, replying has become common practice on Twitter. Replies also provide evidence to establish a degree of interaction, the so called “engagement rate”, when a reply author reacts to a tweet author.

Figure 2: Replies, recipients/mentions and their occurrences

Figure 2: Replies, recipients/mentions and their occurrences

There were 142 senders (Figure 2) who replied to the three account holders 197 times (139% occurrence). The tweet replies included 63 recipients or mentions which were recorded 262 times (416% occurrence). The top recipients/mentions with at least 5 occurrences are: @LaszloAndorEU (107), @EU_Social (38), @EURESjob (37), @BarrosoEU (9), @EU_Commission (9) and @MartinSchulz (5).

Commissioner Andor is on top of the list because, in addition to his mentions employed in the tweet bodies in 2012, he hosted a Twitter chat where the participants placed his username at the beginning of the tweets, which is a regular practice with Twitter chat. It is also worth mentioning the three account holders that came on top of the list, Social Europe and EURes, followed by EC President account, the European Commission corporate Twitter account and the European Parliament President’s account.


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