Becoming a Tweep: How Prior Online Experiences Influence Twitter Use

Authors: Eszter Hargittai and Eden Litt

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Citation: Hargittai, E. & Litt, E. (2012). Becoming a Tweep: How Prior Online Experiences Influence Twitter Use. Information, Communication and Society. 15(5):680-702.


Despite much excitement about the microblogging platform Twitter, little is known about predictors of its adoption and how its uses relate to other online activities in particular. Using a unique longitudinal data set from 2009 to 2010 surveying over 500 diverse young American adults about their online experiences, we look at how adoption of Twitter relates to prior engagement in other types of online activities. Our findings suggest that online skills as well as prior consumption and production activities especially in the domain of entertainment news are significant predictors of subsequent Twitter use. Our results caution about the potential biases that may result from studies that sample on Twitter users excluding other populations.

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