StockTwits: A Time Waster Or Can It Be Useful?

StockTwits is an incredibly addictive platform for anyone who likes social media and the stock market. For a lack of a better description, it is Twitter for stocks.

When I first signed up I did so out of curiosity and expected to spend an hour or two at most before I got bored and abandoned it forever. I don't have a Facebook page and have little interest in social media so I figured my time on StockTwits would be short.

Well, I'm finding I use it every weekday the market is open and I want to explain what I use it for.

First of all, you can waste a tremendous amount of time on StockTwits and most people do. Just like Twitter, it is a place where anyone can post anything and it has a character limit of 140. You can link to pictures, articles, blogs or just about anything you want to as long as you stay within that 140 character limit.

Most people only post meaningless chatter about the stocks they own or follow. So, if you go there just to read the "Twits" and shoot the shit, you can waste as much time as you like and maybe have some fun if that is your sort of thing.

But I use it to find out what stocks have the most action and have breaking news and I find that on the top part of the StockTwits screen where they have the trending stocks. The stocks that are "trending" have the most chatter and there is usually a reason for that so I can just quickly look at the home screen to see what stocks are hot at the moment.

You can see in the screenshot above that Amazon is listed first and the stock is getting hit hard after a bad earnings report. Fourth on the list is Baidu which is trending for the opposite reason: they just released a good earnings report and the stock is up nicely.

Overall, I believe StockTwits is a colossal waste of time and I try to spend as little time on it as possible. It is a meeting place for like minded stock market junkies who mostly post meaningless opinions. 

However, I do use it to as a quick way to see what stocks have breaking news and/or are being talked about the most and I don't know anywhere else you can get that kind of instant information on the Net.

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