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How Twitter Measures Trends

9:44 am on Dec 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Twitter Explains How It Measures Trends On Twitter [blog.twitter.com]
Twitter Trends are automatically generated by an algorithm that attempts to identify topics that are being talked about more right now than they were previously. The Trends list is designed to help people discover the 'most breaking' breaking news from across the world, in real-time. The Trends list captures the hottest emerging topics, not just whatís most popular. Put another way, Twitter favors novelty over popularity (as BuzzFeed noted in a great article & infographic earlier this week).

What makes a trend a Trend?
Twitter users now send more than 95 million Tweets a day, on just about every topic imaginable. We track the volume of terms mentioned on Twitter on an ongoing basis. Topics break into the Trends list when the volume of Tweets about that topic at a given moment dramatically increases.

Sometimes a topic doesnít break into the Trends list because its popularity isnít as widespread as people believe. And, sometimes, popular terms donít make the Trends list because the velocity of conversation isnít increasing quickly enough, relative to the baseline level of conversation happening on an average day; this is what happened with #wikileaks this week.
10:27 pm on Dec 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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We know what happened with wikileaks...

Does trends filter out the auto-posted tweets made by people's blogs for example?

95 million tweets a day sounds impressive but when you consider how much of that is just secondary postings of things written elsewhere, or promotional self serving tweets, not so much. As such it's hard to gauge how useful this trends algo is.
6:42 am on Dec 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There are some new mentions of statistical evidence demonstrating that Twitter directly suppressed Wikileaks trending. No idea if this is accurate, but it is interesting: [studentactivism.net...]