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  1. ITV Report

Want more followers on Twitter? Be positive

The study examined the Twitter updates of 507 followers over a 15-month period. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The best way to get more Twitter followers is to be positive, write clearly and re-tweet interesting pieces of news, a new study has claimed.

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta examined the content of Twitter updates sent by 507 non-famous users over a 15-month period.

They looked for 2,800 terms that convey positive or negative emotions, including slang, swear words, emoticons and common acronyms such as LOL (laugh out loud) and ROLF (rolling on the floor laughing).

After giving each term a score on the positivity scale, they then assessed whether the tweeters who used them had gained or lost followers.

While the researchers found positive tweets were more likely to get others clicking the "follow" button, their results suggested Twitter users who write about themselves or are critical are more likely to lose followers.

C J Hutto, who led the study, said:

Twitter is used quite heavily as a news medium.

My weak connections on Twitter care less about what I had for breakfast than they do about this neat bit of news I discovered.