Researchers at HP have determined that it’s not people with the most followers, or those issuing tweet after tweet after tweet, that drive trending topics on Twitter. Instead, it’s the mainstream media.
The rest of us then curate and amplify those messages.
Via the HP blog:
The main determinant of whether an item trends – much more than who tweets about it or how often – was the specific subject of the tweet, the team found. That can be seen in the degree to which trending topics are the result of retweets – items passed from one individual’s network of followers to another’s. 31% of tweets of trending topics are retweets, their analysis showed.
The HP team collected data from Twitter’s own search API over a period of 40 days in the fall of 2010. From the resulting sample of 16.32 million tweets, they identified 22 users who were the source of the most retweets when a topic was “trending.” Of those 22, 72% were Twitter streams run by mainstream media outfits such as CNN, the New York Times, El Paisand the BBC.
A quick stop at Twitter shows that BOYBAND KOREA is currently trending. Wonder what media org started that one?