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Australians tweeting more but have fewer friends

A new study has shown that Australians are tweeting more, but have fewer friends in real life.

Local tweeters send an aggregate of 5,000 tweets a minute – with West Australians the most upbeat Twitter users, and those in the nation's capital are the most aggressive.

Data compiled by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) over an eight week period broke down almost 470 million messages sent using social media site Twitter into sociographic categories subject to the emotive words used.

According to the university's Dr Suresh Sood, Canberra seemed to be out of sync with other capital cities when it comes to happiness.

"We noticed in Canberra the majority of people on Twitter used anxious or aggressive language and were only happy on a Thursday afternoon compared to earlier in the week for the rest of the Australian cities," Dr Sood said.

Sydneysiders tweeted the most – and used the most profanity – but Melbournians were more sociable, with the highest amount of mentions on Twitter.

Advertising agency The Works revealed the study's results showed women made up for 54 per cent of domestic users, while more than half of all tweets generated in the country came from Sydney and Melbourne.

The news comes after a survey found that Australians have 11 times more Facebook friends than close friends in real life.

According to News Limited reports, a recent poll indicated that the average number of online friends was 154 and reduced to less than 20 it came to physical interaction.

Women had over 40 more online contacts than their male counterparts, while men reported 5 more real life friends.

The heaviest users of social media – those aged 18 to 24 – listed 301 friends on average on the social networking site and considered 17 people more than just acquaintance, colleagues or "friends of a friend".

Sydney residents boasted 186 social network friends compared with 157 in Melbourne and 125 in Brisbane.