Researchers: Twitter Influence Not Determined By Number of Followers

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By Tonya Garcia

Researchers at Northwestern University have launched a website, Pulse of the Tweeters, that offers a “trend-specific” ranking of Twitter influencers and tweets. According to a description on the site homepage, it “uses data mining, sentiment analysis, and network analysis algorithms to mine millions of tweets and find the most influential users on Twitter.”

“People think that just because you have a huge number of followers you may potentially be an influencer, and that is not the case,” Professor Alok Choudhary, chair of the electrical engineering and computer science department at the school, told the New York Times. He and university graduate student Ramanathan Narayanan are the site’s founders.

“The idea was how do we determine what are the important tweets and who are the people who really influence others in real time,” he added.