Texas-based consultancy Pear Analytics has categorised a sample of Twitter traffic into seven categories:
• news
• spam
• self-promotion
• pointless babble (what it called the “I am eating a sandwich now” tweets)
• conversational
• pass along (retweets)

Pear say pointless babble accounts for 40.55% of traffic, while spam accounted for 3.75% and self promotion 5.85%. Conversational (people asking the pointless babblers what exactly was in their sandwich) accounts for 37.55%. This leaves total news accounting for 3.6% of Twitter traffic and retweets accounting for 8.7%.

The researchers also found that conversational peaked between 2.00pm and 2.30pm, and again at 4pm to 4.30pm, with pointless babble peaking between 2.30pm and 3pm. Apparently, the best days for news and conversation are Tuesdays. By Thursdays, though, Tweeters have descended into babble and spam.