While network scientists have been poring over data from Twitter and Facebook, they’ve forgotten about Tumblr. Now they’ve begun to ask how this network differs from the rest.
The study of social networks has gripped computer scientists in recent years. In particular, researchers have focused on a few of the biggest networks that have made their data available, such as some mobile phone networks, Wikipedia and Twitter.
But in the rush, one network has been more or less ignored by researchers: Tumblr, a microblogging platform similar to Twitter. So an interesting question is how the network associated with Tumblr is different from the Twitter network.
Today we get an answer thanks to the work of Yi Chang and pals at Yahoo Labs in Sunnyvale. These guys point out that relatively little is known about Tumblr compared to other networks like Twitter and set out to change this.
The basic statistics are straightforward. Tumblr is a microblogging service with about 160 million users who together have published over 70 billion posts.
The most significant difference between Tumblr and its bigger cousin, Twitter, is that there is no limit to the size of the posts that users can create. By contrast, Twitter imposes the famous 140-character limit on all of its posts. Tumblr also supports multimedia posts, such as images, audio, and video.