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Twitter Trending Topics Determined by News Outlets

Twitter Trending Topics Are Driven by News Outlets, Not Individuals

A new study finds that trending topics on Twitter don't come from celebrities or other influences, they come mainly from established news organizations. The report further states that these trending topics are not influenced by the number of followers a user has or how popular their tweets are; instead, popular news outlets take top honors, influencing 72 percent of trending topics. Find out more, including how these stats were found after the break.

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.

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