When is the best time to tweet?

Twitter has made a few recent changes that make it hard to follow the chronology of tweets in my timeline. I’ve mostly accepted that, but as a result I don’t feel like I have a sense of when my followers are most active anymore. (Of course, there are a few people whose active times would be classified as ‘always’.) Anyway, these changes make me feel a little disconnected from my roughly 175 current tweeps and that makes me sad.

But beyond the emotional pain of no longer being able to really, I mean really, connect with one’s twitter followers on an existential level, some people care about all those Twitter status markers like retweet, reply, and like counts. For them, knowing when your followers are most active can help you improve those numbers and determine the best time to tweet.

Regardless of where you fall on that completely contrived spectrum, this is something that’s analyzable and would be cool to know. And for those that care, it can give some insight on the best time to engage with your Twitter followers.

So here’s a snippet of what I found using data from my Twitter followers’ activity over the last 28 days. Day of the week is along the y-axis, hour of the day is along the x-axis.

Number of unique followers posting or retweeting during a given hour
Chart of twitter behavior by day of week and hour

Number of retweets from followers during a given hour
Chart of retweet behavior by day of week and hour

You can see mid-afternoon is the most active time for my followers. Interestingly, as you get closer to Friday, the mid-afternoon activity increases in intensity and and happens earlier.

I’m not going to bother running through code for this one in this write up. I’m thinking about throwing this up as a simple webservice for others to use; if so, I’ll do a detailed write up then.