Researchers analyzed over 16 million tweets, and also found that trending topics can change . . . fast. The longest that a topic will stay high on the list is about 40 minutes. And while user tweets containing certain hashtags can elevate a topic to trending status, more users are viewing tweets from the source (i.e., the news outlets) instead of using them as commentary for others.
As someone who gets paid to write words for an established organization, I think these findings are quite positive. But beyond my personal interest in well-written and researched content, it also makes a statement about how Twitter users are consuming news. By choosing to work within Twitter's massive reach, news organizations are able to quickly spread their message — and it's working. Also interesting: the fact that users are naturally drawn to the source of the news rather than what others are saying about it.