What Data Says on Increasing Retweetability of tweets by adding links

TLDR: Data scientists at IterativePath have analyzed tweets over weeks and break the myth of causality of links in tweets to its retweetability.

Admit it you worry about getting your tweets retweeted.  Hopefully  many times, but you will settle for just once. You wish someone lot more famous will notice and retweet your sparkling thought.You come up with something original, innovative and awesome. After all it is only fair that the world sees it and appreciates it by spreading it.

This applies to individuals or brands (which essentially have interns with fancy social media titles manage tweets).

So you look for ways to increase retweetability – what knobs can you turn.As you do a google search you chance upon this article titles, “scientifically proven ways to increase retweetabilty“. One such proven way from that article is:

Adding links to a tweet increases its retweetability.

That article convinces you to arrive at this conclusion (because you have willfully suspended skepticism) by stating this observed data (mind you, from analyzing 10s of thousands of tweets)

  1. Among the tweets that were Retweeted, 56.7% had a link in them
  2. Among the tweets that were not Retweeted, 19% had a link in them

If you went back and read the article I did on these numbers you will see this does not say anything about retweetability.

I decided to do my own testing. Unlike others who do data dredging I practice data science so I started with the hypotheses

Null hypothesis H0: Any difference found in retweetability of tweets with links and no links is just randomness.

Alternative hypothesis H1: Links do make a difference in retweetability.

Method: I will be non-parametric test — Chi-Square test for test for statistics. This test of statistical significance is non-directional. That is  it is not going to tell us which way the difference favors but only that the difference is statistically significant or not.

Data collection:  Randomly collect a sample of original tweets (that is excluding those “RT @SomeOne …”) and analyze them. I used python-twitter API to collect tweet data and metadata like retweet count, links in it or not etc. I collected about 3500 samples — good enough. In fact too large.

Data Summary:   Here is what the data stands

No Link Link Total
No RT 2248 1072 3320
RT 177 44 221
Total 2425 1116 3541

First observation is just about 6% of any of the tweets got even a single retweet. Vast majority of your original tweets get no love whatsoever.

But that was not the hypothesis. So let us test our hypothesis with data in row 2 by calculating Chi-square value.

Results:

chi-sqr

The difference is indeed statistically significant. That is links do make a difference. But note what I stated about chi-square test being nondirectional. So you need to look at the data and apply mind to see which way is the difference.

You can see that just 20% of retweeted tweets have link in them vs. 80% have no link (row 2 of table above).

More importantly look at column 2. Of those tweets with links, 96% of them have 0 retweets. And just 4% were retweeted.

So links make a difference for the worse, breaking the myth propagated by any previous articles on this.

 

 

Breaking the Myth of Personality Tests

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Prithi, again, the fifth grader with another blog post.

Do you have this interest or that? That means that you are one type or the other.

Most of our lives are based on questions like this: personality tests. What people don’t realize is that most personality tests are based on general information. Take the video (which I linked to the last phrase). Everyone gets the same results, even when they seemed very personal. Take this horoscope for example:

Pisces: Travel or short trips will probably be your best outlet. You are exceptional at presenting your ideas. Don’t overspend on friends or children.

Aries: Your ability to deal with others will help you in getting the support you need. Short trips will prove to be more fruitful than you imagined. Your home environment may be hectic, which could result in emotional upset if you aren’t well organized.

 

Taurus: Difficulties with female members of your family may result in estrangement’s. You may be offered opportunities that will result in a higher earning potential. Rewards for past good deeds will be yours.

 

Gemini: Deceit with coworkers is apparent. Your ability to put a deal together will surprise others. This will not be the time to give too much to your children.

Cancer: Your professional attitude will not go unnoticed. You should sit down with someone you trust and work out a budget that will enable you to save a little extra. Tempers will mount if you are too pushy at work.

 

Leo: You are best to put your efforts into redecorating or inviting friends over. Look into alternatives that would better suit both your needs. Overexertion and negligence will be your worst enemies.

 

Virgo: You will be inclined to make unwise investment choices. You can learn a great deal more if you listen rather than rant and rave. You may have difficulties finishing projects you start.

 

Libra: Someone may be trying to pull the wool over your eyes. You won’t get the reaction you want from your mate today. Your ability to be practical in business will help.

 

Scorpio: You will be able to get to the bottom of things today. Consider a conservative investment that will stay solid when everything else goes sour. You will be ready to jump on anyone who gets in the way of your progress today.

 

Sagitarius: Get out and experience the spice of life. Use your creative abilities to come up with new ideas and directions. Someone may be trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

 

Capricorn: Changes in your home environment may cause friction. If you’ve been really busy, try to schedule some time to spend with loved ones. Don’t overdo it.

 

Aquarius: Your ability to come up with good solutions for problems related to work will no doubt help you in getting a promotion. Plan a trip to the country or take a drive to the beach. Problems with your partner are apparent.

Does this seem personal? Well, it’s not. I took the horoscopes and switched them around.

Another example of personality tests was emphasized in one of my previous blog posts. The Sorting Hat. The questions that are asked don’t define you. They just group the people up according to their answers, into four houses or sectors.

Remember, don’t believe in those personality tests. They make their money from you. You don’t rely on them; they rely on you.

 

 

Don’t Classify People by Magic

I am Prithi the 5th grader writing this article.

Whether you are a Gryffindor or Slytherin, you are not defined by the Sorting Hat.

I am an avid fan of Harry Potter: I read the books about 20 times each.

In the Harry Potter seriesall characters were classified by a hat as they enter Hogwarts. We were told that the hat decides which one of the four houses to place a student in, according to its reading of their values.

For people like myself, who want to continue the journey through the seven books, there is a website called pottermore.com. There exists a similar classification of  young witches and wizards on the site, pottermore. Instead of putting on a virtual Sorting Hat, we are asked a bunch of questions which are supposed to determine which house we would be in. This can be helpful, as the answers to the questions were based on our values, which can match up to those of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw. This can also be very judgemental, because the questions are multiple choice, and the user has a different answer, so he or she picks the next best one, getting classified by the answer they don’t want to choose.

The same goes for the Divergent series. People are classified according to their aptitudes and values.

Across the board classification appears everywhere, such as

  1. Which movie are you?
  2. Which dessert are you?
  3. I hope that when I grow up, colleges and businesses that I want to join won’t do the same thing: classifying people by magic. Everyone should know that people are not defined by ten silly questions.

May the Likelihoods Be Mostly in Your Favor

This is Prithi, the fifth grader, with another blog post, on probability. This title was inspired by Effie Trinket, in the Hunger Games.

Let’s say you buy a lottery ticket.You either win or lose. You figure that the chances are 50-50. What you don’t understand is that the chances are not 50-50. But you may ask: Isn’t it like a coin toss? The answer is no.

The explanation:

Let’s say the lottery ticket you buy is numbered from one to twenty. On drawing night, they pick one of the twenty numbers, and if you bought that ticket, you win. Otherwise, you lose.

Here’s a sample space for this problem:

{lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, win}.

Only one out of the twenty options can win. Win or lose are the two states you may find yourself in, but you are more likely to lose than win. The lottery tickets that we buy are not numbered from one to twenty, but have six numbers, from one to forty-two. They don’t pick one number, but six to find the winner. That means the chances are {lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose…

, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose…

Oh, I can’t put a win anywhere here, because the chances of losing keep on going}

This is how the math will work: 1/42*1/41*1/40*1/39*1/38*1/37, or 0.000000000264763.

Therefore, the next time you buy a lottery ticket, don’t figure your chances are 50-50, and always make sure the likelihoods are mostly in your favor.

Brands Convincing us to Part with our Money

I’m Prithi, the fifth grader, writing this post.

Nestle has pretty good branding skills, especially when it comes to popular products, of course, they take it to extremes sometimes. People want refreshments, but they want to be healthy. The bottled water industry is very popular these days, along with all those diets and health movements.

Nestle cleverly takes advantage of us, as we are more than willing to part with our money, after their advertisements. They want to increase their margin, as Nestle Water provide the least margin of all, out of Nestle’s repertoire.With their smart advertisements, such as this one, they make us feel as if life cannot go on without Nestle Pure Life bottled water.

But do you really know the difference between one bottled water and another, when we pay the premium price?

Simple Price-Value Math from Tesla

Tesla discontinued its $71,000 Model S 60D and replaced it with Model S 70D that comes with all-wheel drive.

Its next higher edition in Model S is Model S 85D that has 85KWh rating (hence longer range) than 70KWh rating of 70D. The 85D however does not come with all-wheel drive, you upgrade by paying $5000 more.

Here is how the price value map looks like among the options

tesla-pic.001Essentially

Additional 15KWh  –  AWD  = $6250

Additional 15KWh + AWD    = $12500

You do the math on how much additional value customers assign to each feature. Clearly Tesla has done the math.

Is the value perception of AWD same for someone decided on 70KWh version vs. one who prefers 80KWh?