An infographic made by the Hootsuite platform with the most important topics of the year on Twitter.
international comparisons of trending topics of interest, such as news stories. Previous
international comparisons of news interests have tended to use surveys and may bypass topics
not well covered in the mainstream media. This article uses 9 months of English tweets from the
UK, USA, India, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Sri-Lanka Phone Number List . Based upon the top 50 trending
keywords in each country from the 0.5 billion tweets collected, festivals or religious events are
the most common, followed by media events, politics, human interest and sport. US trending
topics have the most interest in the other countries and Indian trending topics the least.
Conversely, India is the most interested in other countries’ trending topics and the US the least.
This gives evidence of an international hierarchy of perceived importance or relevance with
some issues, such as the international interest in US Thanksgiving celebrations, apparently not
being directly driven by the media. This hierarchy echoes, and may be caused by, similar news
coverage trends. Whilst the current imbalanced international news coverage does not seem to be
out of step with public news interests, the political implication is that the Twitter-using public
reflects, and hence seems to implicitly accept, international imbalances in news media agenda
setting rather than combatting them. This is a problem for those believing that these imbalances
make the media too powerful.
International differences in news coverage and peoples’ news interests are important not only for the
media deciding what content to produce and whether to customise it for different geographic
audiences but also because of the influence of the media in deciding upon the main issues of the day
(“agenda setting”, as discussed below). Current research into Phone Number List international differences in news
interests typically uses surveys, but the social web has created possibilities to address this issue by
analysing social media texts instead. This different angle may give new insights, such as topics of
interest that are not well covered in the mainstream media. From the social web, Twitter is a
particularly relevant source for news-related information because of its emphasis on rapidly sending
At the time of writing, Twitter was the ninth most visited web site in the world according to
Alexa (2011) even though it can be used via mobile phones, bypassing Alexa’s data collection
methods. Twitter allows users to publically broadcast short text messages of up to 140 characters,
known as tweets. The widespread international adoption of Twitter has created a situation in which
the comments of a large number of people, albeit a small minority of the world’s population, are
publically available for research to see what kinds of things generate interest and even how topics of
interest vary by country. These are important because Twitter is a phenomenon in its own right and
because of the potential to gain insights into underlying human interests and international differences
in reactions to the news and political issues. Twitter itself promotes this kind of analysis by publishing
keyword trends on users’ profile pages and even annual reviews of the top tweeted topics (Twitter,
2011), as do some other social media sites to a limited extent, such as Facebook (Hernandez, 2011).
The public availability of Twitter data has allowed much research into its uses (e.g., Java,
Song, Finin, & Tseng, 2007; Naaman, Becker, & Gravano, 2011) and exploitation for purposes such
as health research (Heaivilin, Gerbert, Page, & Gibbs, 2011; Signorini, Segre, & Polgreen, 2011),
marketing (Jansen, Zhang, Sobel, & Chowdury, 2009), government information (Wigand, 2010),