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What is Twitter? Most people still don't know, study finds

July 27, 2009 |  4:52 pm

Twitter-cloud

Twitter cloud. Credit: respres via Flickr

A new LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll found that advertisers believe much more highly in the importance of Twitter than the average consumer. What a shocker, right?

The more interesting tidbit buried within the report is that the majority of common folk surveyed still have little idea of what Twitter is. And here we thought the news media had completely exhausted coverage of the social network.

Of the 2,025 U.S. adults surveyed, 69% said they didn't know enough about Twitter to comment on the service.

Compare that to just 17% of advertisers who admitted to not knowing much about the website -- a group whose colleagues would, if they found out about said confession, probably take them out back "Old Yeller" style.

The minority of consumers who actually knew about Twitter were split on its effectiveness. Some said the short-messaging service would grow, and an equal number of respondents said it was just for kids. The remaining 8% are apparently too cool for the tweets, saying that Twitter is old news and that it's time to find the next big thing.

Twitter acknowledged that its homepage doesn't do much to help newcomers decipher the point of the website. The company plans to unveil a revamped landing page this week for visitors who don't have accounts or aren't logged in.

“You can try it out without having to sign up, so you can get an idea of what Twitter is before you use it,” Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told AllThingsD last week. “We need to do a better job of explaining ourselves to people who hear about us and then have no idea what do to.”

-- Mark Milian

Follow my random thoughts on technology, the Internet and Web start-ups on Twitter @markmilian.

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