Tweet popularity what does it mean for traditional media brands?

According to the Twitter developer community, an enhancement to Twitter Search may be on it’s way. The enhancement would rank tweets when searched by “Tweet Popularity”. What we still don’t know is how they will define “tweet popularity”, it would most likely would be some combination of the following.
A. The number of retweets
B. The number of clicks
C The number of followers

First it was SEO, then SEM, now they tell me I have to worry about TP (Tweet Popularity)

This could mean that those already very popular to become even more so. Looking at the top 10 based on followers, following and Tweets I get a little worried that the news I get will come from the likes of Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and the Kardashians. Can we all yell, YIKES!

1.Ashton Kutcher
2.Britney Spears
3.The Ellen Show
4.Barack Obama
6.Lady Gaga
7.Kim Kardashian
8.John Mayer
9.Ryan Seacrest
and number ten CNN – Thank goodness at least one non celebrity made it on this list. Also glad to see our President to make it even if it’s between Ellen and Oprah.

With that said, I’m sure Twitter will configure it as a way to sort the search results and not change what they were founded on, reatltime. brings up two very interesting questions, :Would people who originally tweeted something be given more importance than the popular account that retweeted that original tweet?“ and “Would the domain of the URLs within the tweet play a role in measuring tweet importance?“

The thing I can’t get past is that Twitter has always been about “realtime search” and ordered by time stamp. Google is about popularity and already does this with the Twitter posts (they do this by one of their secret algorithms.) Twitter will really have to think through how they introduce popularity ranking into their search so not to confuse their mainstream users or to diminish what they built their reputation on.

Why would one want to see Twitter sorted by popularity? – With over 30 Million posts a day it’s hard to find the worthy from the worthless. 30M is a lot of noise to sort through.

A lot of the comments coming in on the story discount the Twitter search all together. When posting about a trending topic I find Twitter search to be a significant driver of traffic/retweets and new followers.

Recently I tested this with a brand new Twitter account. I created on the morning of the Oscars and started tweeting during the pre-show. I tweeted about the event in realtime and included as many actors names and pictures as I was able to find. By the end of the night I had 220 followers, I had picked up on 18 trackers and had 119 retweets. How did these people find me? Search!

The competition to improve in the official popularity rankings will likely have the same effect that publicly displaying follower numbers—competition and ego-boosting will ensure even more rabid use of the service.

What does it mean to foundational media companies? It means that if you don’t start growing you Twitter presence and taking it seriously, that it will become more and more difficult to be the authoritative voice source in the Twitter realm. – Sure you can build a strong following with your own brand and billboard promotion, but getting new eyeballs is what the game is all about.


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