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Business & Profession Other, Professional Development

Is Twitter Dead?

At a Glance

  • Twitter is a brilliant platform where vast amounts of information are disseminated every day
  • Worldwide, Twitter use is declining – but are ophthalmologists following that trend?
  • Analyzing Twitter usage between 2016 and 2017, we found that although the number of users joining the service was in decline, activity of existing users has increased
  • We summarize our findings and offer our advice for ophthalmologists on social media.

Back in 2006, the microblogging website Twitter hatched. Despite a period of rapid growth in user numbers – particularly around 2009 and 2010 – usage today is declining (1). But does this trend of declining Twitter use also apply to tweeting ophthalmologists?

Following trends?

In 2016, Christiansen et al. (2) studied Twitter activity at the 2014 and 2015 annual AAO meetings, and found that there was a 43 percent increase in the numbers of ophthalmologists tweeting at the 2015 meeting. The majority of the tweets were centered on the meeting (66 percent) and tweeted by ophthalmologists at earlier career stages (63 percent; trainee or fewer than 10 years’ experience). Not only that, the number of impressions – the amount of people seeing those tweets – generated during the 2014 meeting (23.7 million) was more than 7.5 times greater than the impressions at a large emergency medicine conference (3.12 million), despite a similar number of tweets. What does this tell us? Ophthalmologists appear to have more active followers on Twitter than our emergency medicine colleagues.

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About the Author

Pavan Angadi and Robert F. Melendez

Pavan Angadi is an ophthalmology resident at Howard University Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology, Washington D.C.
Robert F. Melendez is an ophthalmologist at Eye Associates of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Surgery/ Division of Ophthalmology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He is also executive director of The Juliette RP Vision Foundation and Founder of Social Media Page Creators.

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