I think that Twitter and micro-blogging in general have properties that could be exploited along with broadcasting services. I’ll write my thoughts about this later on.
As a first step in this reflexion, I’d like to estimate the total bandwidth of Twitter, that is, how many kilobits per second are being Tweeted on average.
I made a similar exercise some time ago with regards to the blogosphere in a post titled “Broadcasting the Blogosphere: 30 million voices for the price of one!”.
So I found some twitter services that provide relevant data. For example, TweeSpeed is an instant speed meter that shows the current number of tweets per minute. A graph showing the speed per hour during the last week is also available. A quick look at that graph now suggests that 700.000 tweets per hour would be a reasonable approximation for last week’s average, excluding the peek caused by the “Michael Jackson Effect”. Twitpocalypse currently reports 221 tweets per second which results in a similar value (221*60*60 =795.600 tweets per hour ). On another front, the recent HubSpot State of the Twittershpere report provides similar amounts on a daily basis instead of per hour. I suspect that this is a mistake. I’ll be pessimistic and take the largest number. The Hubspot report also informs on the distribution of actual tweet length. I’ll average the tweet length to 110 characters per tweet.
So the math goes like this:
110ch * 1byte/ch * 700k/hour = 77 Mbytes/hour
TOTAL TWITTER BANDWIDTH = 170 kbps !