Finally, hard data proves what social media skeptics have believed all along: Our tweets and Facebook status updates are fleeting.
Link-shortening service Bitly
has published data showing that the “half life” of links that are tweeted and posted to Facebook is generally around three hours. The term “half life,” according to Bitly, refers to the amount of time a link will nab half of the clicks it will ever get after it has reached its peak.
Here’s the most revealing nugget of truth that Bitly shares from its data analysis:
“The mean half life of a link on Twitter is 2.8 hours, on Facebook it’s 3.2 hours and via ‘direct’ sources (like email or IM clients) it’s 3.4 hours. So you can expect, on average, an extra 24 minutes of attention if you post on Facebook than if you post on Twitter.”
Youtube, meanwhile, has a more impressive half life of 7.4 hours. Apparently, we’re still likely to click on stale video links. We can thank society’s abiding love of kittens and puppies for that.