Twitter Terminal Velocity

Terminal Velocity is defined by physicists as the maximum speed that an object of a given mass can achieve when accelerating toward another object with a gravitational constant. Skydivers can only accelerate to a certain speed before maxing out at a terminal velocity.

For the geeky science type among us, the formula is for determining Terminal Velocity is here.

There is a Terminal Velocity with Twitter as well. I have, at the time of this writing, I have 1,293 followers on Twitter. That’s 1,293 people who I see tweets from. If my calculations are correct, I see approximately 10 tweets per minute. That’s 600 tweets per hour or 14,400 tweets per day. That’s a hell of a lot of Tweets.

Here’s my non-scientfic law, though. The tweet stream reached terminal velocity somewhere back around 500 followers when I also received approximately 10 tweets per minute. There are variables, of course, that play in to the tweet stream – mostly due to the Twitter infrastructure. For one, Twitter can only deliver a certain number of Tweets per second anyway. Secondly, the human factor plays in. How quickly do people read and respond to my tweets? How quickly do my tweets get delivered to them? In the end, the Tweet stream moves as quick at 1,293 followers as it did at 500. Titter terminal velocity.

So how do I deal with 14,400 tweets per day, you might ask? (I know you might ask because you ask all the time when I meet you). Simply, I don’t read everything. I read all the @ replies directed toward me. I read all the direct messages. I really only read everything whenever I sit down to actively engage in Twitter (which might happen once or twice a day for 30 mins at a time). It’s really the only way I can deal with the flow.

Published by Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, A Backend Developer . at Modern Tribe, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.