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Do you want to be popular on Twitter? Then don't do this

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his is a visualization of the spreading of messages on Twitter (retweets network in green) on the followers network (grey)

Unpopular Twitter users who tweet regularly are wasting their time, according to an analysis by researchers from the Technical University of Madrid.

The findings, published in the journal Social Networks, show that the structure of Twitter means having a larger number of followers means you have more influence. Users who try to compensate for their relatively low numbers of followers will find the action is both costly and inefficient.

"Having a larger number of followers is much more important than the user's 'effort' or activity in sending lots of messages," lead researcher Rosa M. Benito said. "The data shows that the emergence of a group of users who write fewer tweets but that are largely retweeted is due to the social network being heterogeneous."

More: Could one of these nine Twitter words make it into the dictionary?

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