Is the culture of a country associated with the way people use Twitter? The answer is a definite “Yes!” We analyzed more than 2.34 million geo-located user profiles in 30 countries plus their tweets for 10 weeks, and we found that:
- The higher a country’s Pace of Life, the more predictable its residents: one can reliably predict when they would post a tweet!
- In collectivist countries, users interact more with each other (rather than tweet) than those in individualistic countries.
- In countries in which people tend to be comfortable with unequal distribution of power, users tend to follow, recommend, and accept recommendations preferentially from popular users. In more equal countries, popularity does not play a role at all!
These findings match previous real-world ones, and that speaks to their external validity. Why does all this matter? Because pace of life, individualism and power distance are all strongly associated with socio-economic aspects (with, e.g., GPD, income inequality). Thus, this work has established a convincing transitive link between Twitter behavioral features and a country’s socio-economic conditions.
Want to learn more? Check out our full paper, Cultural Dimensions in Twitter: Time, Individualism and Power.