Each Friday we've been presenting a charticle titled "The Top 10 Most Tweeted Brands" -- but starting this week, we're making a change.
The truth is, deciding what is and isn't a brand has been, from week to week, an occasional contortion. Some commonly tweeted brands are no-brainers (e.g., Apple); others are less obvious (e.g., Justin Bieber, who is arguably one of the biggest entertainment brands to emerge in years, while also, of course, still being a living, breathing human being -- just a kid).
We've been leaning toward just giving you an unfiltered look at the Top 10 most tweeted topics on Twitter, using the proprietary algorithm developed by our editorial partner, What the Trend, which monitors both the rank and duration of every single topic that pops up on Twitter's global Trending Topics chart throughout the week. This week's surprising range of top Twitter memes inspired us to make that shift in focus official starting today. Because while you could argue that, for instance, World AIDS Day is a brand, it seems ridiculously reductive to do so.
We're also including so-called hashtag trends because they've increasingly becoming a major part of Twitter's culture. The global call and response to these often arbitrary, up-from-nowhere verbal tweet games is, simply, fascinating -- and often wildly entertaining. Consider this week's #ThingsWeCanAllAgreeOn, to which some people offered a poignant, topical rejoinder (e.g., "u should #gogettested," tying into World AIDS Day) while others offered wry, random comedy (e.g., "sumtimes the moon is too bright, it's like calm down bro, we see u").
As for the most-tweeted topic on this week's chart, NPR offers this excellent summary of what's been going on in Brazil: Rio Police Raid Slums, Clean Up Drug Strongholds
How is this chart made? See Notes, below.
|Trend||Peak Position This Week||Points||Crowdsourced Description|
|1||Brazilian Slum Violence||1||9,913||Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) has been facing much violence. Therefore, Brazilians are pleading that Rio will find peace -- thus "Peace on Rio" (or Paz No Rio in Portuguese). BOPE, the Brazilian special-ops squad, has been invading an area of slums under control of drug dealers.
Subtrends include: BOPE, #paznorio
|2||Leslie Nielsen||1||6,535||1950s & '60s leading man Leslie Nielsen, later the star of such comedies as "Airplane!," "Police Squad" and the "Naked Gun" films, died Sunday at 84 in South Florida from complications of pneumonia. You can call him Shirley, now.
Subtrends include: Airplane, Drebin, Police Squad, #leslienielsen
|3||World AIDS Day||1||5,843||On Dec. 1 people observed World AIDS day.|
|4||#ThingsWeCanAllAgreeOn||1||4,141||Tweets about "things we can all agree on"|
|5||Soccer/Football||1||3,707||Tweets about various players, teams and matches|
|6||NFL||1||3,656||Tweets about various players, teams and games|
|7||#Why90sRocked||1||3,459||Tweeters are telling the world why the 1990s were important and 'rocked' for them -- the people, TV shows, movies, fashion, everything.|
|8||#makemesick||1||3,227||People are tweeting what thing or person makes them sick.|
|9||#2010Disappointments||1||3,003||People are sharing the disappointments they experienced or felt during 2010.|
|10||FIFA World Cup Bids||1||2,974||Tweets about global cities' bids to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and 2012.|
1. WTT tracks the appearance of topics on the Twitter Trending Topics list and each week ranks the subjects with the most cumulative staying power. Explanations of trends are solicited from WTT users, Wikipedia-style; a community-voting system is designed to highlight the best explanations while burying lame or prank explanations.
2. For the purposes of this chart, we collect and process data until 12 midnight EST on Thursday night before each Friday's publication.
3. Ad Age works with WTT to consolidate multiple threads of chatter into one position on the chart when it's clear related Twitter conversations are basically all about the same topic, even if they use different keywords.
4. In WTT's proprietary trend-tracking system, points are awarded for both duration and rank in the top 10 trending topics on Twitter. The longer the duration, and the higher the overall rank, the more points are awarded. Measurements are taken in five-minute increments.
5. The crowdsourced trend explanations above are quoted as they appear on WTT, and therefore may have stylistic and grammatical quirks that don't adhere to normal Ad Age editorial standards.
For more information about What the Trend, visit the WTT FAQ. And check out WTT's Week in Review, compiled by its in-house editors and covering an expanded general list of Top 20 trends (including hashtag trends) here.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.