The TUM School of Management has awarded one of the first phd titles worldwide for research on Twitter. Timm Sprenger's dissertation on "The Information Content of Microblogs and their Use as an Indicator of Real-World Events" investigates whether information extracted from Twitter can serve as an indicator of real-world events and explores the mechanism that explains the efficient aggregation of information.
The results illustrate that the sentiment (i.e., bullishness) of stock-related tweets is correlated with abnormal stock returns. In addition, they provide empirical evidence supporting the idea that followership relationships and retweets represent the Twittersphere's "currency" for weighing information, since users providing above average investment advice are retweeted (i.e., quoted) more often and have more followers. Thus, this dissertation contributes to the understanding and use of social media content in social science research.