The Fleeting Nature Of Twitter: 17 Percent Of Top Searches Change Every Hour

twitter-bird-logo-squareNearly 20 percent of the top search queries on Twitter at any given moment won’t be a popular search query just one hour later. That’s according to a new research paper that Twitter will present this week at a social media conference.

Twitter researchers Jimmy Lin and Gilad Mishne analyzed all search queries on the site during October 2011 and discovered that 17 percent of the top 1,000 search queries from one hour aren’t in the top 1,000 queries the next hour.

The churn of Twitter search activity is nearly the same when measured at a daily level, rather than hourly. Lin and Mishne say that 13 percent of the top 1,000 queries from one day are no longer in the top 1,000 the following day.

By using October for their research, Lin and Mishne were also able to look at search activity surrounding one of the year’s busiest days on Twitter: October 5, the day that Steve Jobs died. On that day, the search query “steve jobs” spiked up to 15 percent of Twitter’s query activity — it’s literally off the chart that appears in the research paper.


That’s just one of several graphs showing the churn of Twitter search activity. You can download the full paper yourself if interested.

Twitter’s blog post also includes some results from other company papers that data junkies are bound to enjoy.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Stats: Search Behavior | Top News | Twitter: Search


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • AdMedia

    Interesting data. It also goes to show how important it is to stay on top of monitoring trends and searches. After all, we want to catch ‘em while they’re hot, right?

  • foampositesonline

    i’m still wondering who’s going to buy twitter.. and pinterest is not taking over traffic from all the social websites I figure they will look to take billions and run

  • knev

    That’s very informative,  the tweets which are one hour fresh are on the top. 

  • BondMarissa

    my friend’s mother-in-law makes $85 every hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $19177 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more her

    ⇛⇛⇛⇛► (Click At My Name For Link)

  • SnapApp

    It’s called “trending” for a reason, this makes sense….I just didn’t realize the turnaround was so fast! That means these topics only have an hour lifespan.

  • Stella

    After all, we want to catch ‘em while they’re hot, right? my buddy’s mother-in-law makes $83/hr on the computer. She has been unemployed for 8 months but last month her pay was $21819 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more CashLazy&#x2Ecom

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