Infographic: The 6 types of Twitter conversations

The discussions that form around products and organizations are very different from those born in professional groups or around customer service accounts. Here’s how.

Twitter can sometimes seem like an endless universe where messages and conversations burn brightly for a short while and then float off into oblivion.

Leave it to the Pew Research Center to find meaning in the madness.

In a recent graphic, the research giant illustrates that, despite Twitter’s vastness, there are really just six types of conversations that occur on the platform. Here’s a brief description of each:

1. Divided: This conversation type references different groups of Twitter users who discuss polarizing topics. Users in one group rarely talk with users in an opposing group. Think politics.

2. Unified: Unified conversations occur within close communities, like those formed around hobbies, professional organizations or conference attendees. Users connect with each other to swap information and ideas.

3. Fragmented: The conversations around products and celebrities are fragmented-the people who follow these topics are large and very different from each other.

4. Clustered: Global news events set off many small and medium-sized clusters of conversations. These clusters usually form around various news sources, and don’t interact with other clusters.

5. In-hub and spoke: News outlets and pundits often spark these conversations. The discussions largely consist of users retweeting the news outlet or pundit.

6. Out-hub and spoke: These conversations happen when organizations use their Twitter profiles for customer service issues. The organization (hub) sends messages to disconnected users (spokes).

Look at the graphic for more on each conversation type:

(View a larger image.)

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