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They say the half-life of a Tweet is just about 24 minutes! This would mean that half of all the clicks, impressions and retweets happen within the first 24 minutes and probably then drop off. However, it’s different if you pin your Tweet to the top of the page, which allows a longer lifecycle of the Tweet.

Interesting, no? So, have you ever wondered where those trending topics on Twitter come from or how can you make a topic trend?

There exists a proprietary Twitter algorithm that identifies the trending topics. Many have tried to crack the algorithm and some have been up to 95% successful and stated that Twitter’s Trends are stand on specific subjects and the concrete reach of a tweet rather than how often it’s tweeted. It is noticed that around 31% of all the trending topics are mostly retweets. Though, in general there are a few principles that are commonly believed to help make up the Twitter trending topics algorithm:

  • Trending topics remain popular for not a very long time; they are the ones which create a wave right now. Therefore, a topic usually trends only once it spears rapidly in use.
  • Everybody gets to see different trends on their Twitter sidebars. These are mostly tailored based on location and the kind of accounts being followed by the person. However, there are many topics of national and international interest that are seen regardless.
  • Most trending topics tend to emerge from retweets, and not from a lofty amount of original Tweets, unlike what many believe.

Considering the overall global trends, more than 70% of the retweets that tend to become trends, come from mainstream media outlets like CNN, The Telegraph, ESPN, The Huffington Post and NY Times etc. More importantly, tweets from whom we called “influencers”, have little effect on the trending topics.

And a few interesting facts about Twitter’s trending topics:

  • Seattle in Washington has been one of the top cities to start trending topics.
  • #WorldCup was the most used in 2014.
  • One of the most retweeted Tweets has been about Bradley Cooper’s arm at the Oscars.


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