What can we learn about the Cable News networks by their fans’ Twitter clients?

I looked at all tweets sent in September that mentioned a cable news show, and ranked the clients used to send them by network.  For each network, here are the top three clients…

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Network 1st 2nd 3rd
Al Jazeera Web (25%) iPhone (21%) Website (17%)
CNN iPhone (29%) Web (25%) Android (19%)
Fox News Web (30%) iPhone (27%) Android (17%)
HLN iPhone (32%) Android (24%) Web (23%)
MSNBC Web (32%) iPhone (24%) Android (15%)
All Networks Web (28%) iPhone (27%) Android (17%)


  • HLN’s mentioners were the most “mobile”.  There’s not a lot of them, but they’re on their sofas, phone in hand.
  • MSNBC’s were the least.  Either they’re all watching MSNBC on their computer, or they’re on their sofas, laptop in lap.
  • CNN was the most iPhone-ish.  HLN was the most Android-ish (but more iPhone than Android). Foxers were slightly more likely to use an iPhone than MSNBCers.
  • The web and iPhone are the most popular channels and about equal in usage.
  • iPhone beats Android by about 3 to 2 overall.
  • Windows Mobile sent about 1% of all tweets. Blackberries sent about 0.6%.  To be fair, if you’re using the Microsoft Surface, it probably looks like web.
  • Tweetdeck sent about 3% of all tweets, Hootsuite about 0.7%.  People are not using “advanced” Twitter clients a whole lot
  • The “Mobile Web” (that is, using the web from a mobile device) is tracked separately from “Web” (which, I presume, is non-mobile).  And mobile web was about 1% of all tweets.  People definitely are using native Twitter clients rather than logging into the web on their mobile devices.

Raw data for your own analysis:


  • The idea of what is and what isn’t a cable news related tweet is not well defined. I have over 150 filters defined to catch the tweets, and I think I do a good job, but whether you think I do is another issue.
  • I counted tweets, including retweets.  Should I have counted unique senders? Should I have excluded retweets?  Each of these is a reasonable suggestion and may well have changed the scoring.
  • I could have missed some tweets, although probably not enough to change anything.  So I think.