Twitter Friends Saturation Point: Around 150 Is Enough

We can’t imagine that any of us could have realized the impact of social networking on our lives when we started using such sites a few years ago. They have increasingly become part of our everyday lives, indeed so much so that sometimes it can be rather a strain to keep up with friends on Twitter, Facebook and the like.

If you find it a struggle trying to stay on top of your social networking you may not be alone. A study has recently been conducted at Indiana University, which has found that the saturation point, where it all starts getting a bit too much, stands at around 150 friends. We learned of this study from PC World’s Eric Mack over on MacWorld, which looked at 3 million Twitter users, spread over 4 years and involving a staggering 380 million tweets.

The study found a pattern whereby social network users first of all try to increase their circle of friends on Twitter and then later when it all starts to become overpowering they withdraw to concentrate more on close contacts. The figure of around 150 friends was found to be the number that users can truly keep in contact with. Interestingly in the 1990’s a while before social networking even existed, Robin Dunbar, a British anthropologist also suggested that 150 was the total of friends a person should be able to cope with. Maybe times haven’t changed as much as we thought then?

We wonder though, how many of us now have fewer friends that we actually see in the flesh rather than online friends and acquaintances who we see little of. We’d be interested to hear your perspective on this so send us your comments and let us know how many social networking friends you can keep up with.