About 40% of the messages on Twitter are "pointless babble", according to a study by a US market research firm.

Pear Analytics randomly sampled 2,000 messages from Twitter, and divided them into six categories: news, spam, self-promotion, pointless babble, conversational and pass-along value.

Out of the sample messages, "pointless babble" - along the lines of "I'm eating a sandwich" - consisted of 811 tweets - 40.5% of the total number of messages sampled. Conversational tweets - messages that go back and forth between users - accounted for 751 tweets, 37.55% of all messages.

"Pass-along value" tweets which were messaged being "re-tweeted" or passed on by users, accounted for 8.7%. Self-promotion by companies consisted of 5.85%, followed by spam with 3.5% of all the messages. Tweets with news from mainstream media publications also took up only 3.6%.

[via AFP]