The Half-Life of a Tweet
10 December 2018 by Scott M. Graffius ☕️ 2 minute read
Social media is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. Well-executed, it provides several benefits: improved brand and marketplace awareness, engagement with a worldwide audience, increased traffic, enhanced search engine optimization (SEO) rankings, and more.
The lifespan of posts is of interest. Because content can live forever, a more helpful metric is half-life. It’s the amount of time it takes for a post to receive half of its total engagements. As shown in the image above and described below, the half-life of posts varies by platform.
- Half-life for posts: 21 minutes
- References: https://moz.com/blog/when-is-my-tweets-prime-of-life and https://blog.hootsuite.com/twitter-statistics/
- Half-life for posts: 30 minutes
- Reference: http://www.wiselytics.com/blog/facebook-posts-lifetime-even-shorter-than-you-thought/
- Half-life for posts 1,140 minutes (= 19 hours)
- Reference: https://get.simplymeasured.com/2014-q4-instagram-study.html#sm.00010ubysp4k5cujr2e2hdhgkg67l
- Half-life for posts: 1,440 minutes (= 24 hours)
- Reference: https://espirian.co.uk/linkedin-improve-engagement/
- Half-life for videos: 8,640 minutes (= 6 days)
- Reference: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-the-lifecycle-of-a-youtube-video-2010-5
- Half-life for posts: 153,300 minutes (= 3.5 months)
- Reference: https://www.webfx.com/blog/social-media/why-pinterest-better-than-facebook-brands/
Be mindful of the half-life values when posting content.
A hi-res version of the Lifespan (Half-Life) of Social Media Posts image is available here. For permission requests, contact email@example.com.
Note: This article and the accompanying image were updated on October 20, 2019 to add YouTube and incorporate new data. In cases where there are multiple references for a metric and they report different values, the average is applied.
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