Web pages are ranked by an algorithm developed by Google co-founder Larry Page that ranks pages as important based on analysis of the pattern of links to and from other websites.
But Twitter users retweet – forward tweets to other users – and Romero and colleagues took this into account. They determine the influence of Twitter users by the number of people who follow them and how likely their followers are to retweet their messages. Most followers are passive and rarely retweet.
Romero found that the most influential Twitter feeds are those whose followers retweet the messages and persuade passive followers to become active. The work was conducted at HP’s Social Computing Lab.
The top 10 Twitter feeds: @mashable, @cnnbrk, @big_picture, @the onion, @time, @breakingnews, @bbcbreaking, @espn, @harvardbiz, @gizmodo. The complete list is here. Romero’s Twitter: @DanielMRomero.
- George Lowery