Twitter trending powered by traditional media


“Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated”

Yes folks. There is life in the bones of traditional media still. For all the hype surrounding Twitter as a groundbreaking and leading force in social media, it has been discovered that all of its trending is actually inspired by traditional media and not bloggers.

HP Labs conducted a survey which found that news outlets CNN and the BBC were responsible for 72% of  the 22 Twitter streams for most retweets.  In their research paper entitled ‘Trends in Social Media: Persistence and Decay, they also discovered that only 22 users were responsible for  the majority of retweets when a topic was trending. It also showed that trending issues only last an average of 40 minutes.

“You might expect the most prolific tweeters or those with most followers would be most responsible for creating such trends,” said Bernardo Huberman, HP senior fellow and director of HP Labs’ Social Computing Research Group. “[But] we found that mainstream media play a role in most trending topics and actually act as feeders of these trends. Twitter users then seem to be acting more as filter and amplifier of traditional media in most cases.”


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