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Who Are The 10 Most Influential Twitter Users In The World [Study]

The geeks in the labs are donning white coats and poking and probing the social networks with powerful servers and custom software to see how the human lab rats in the global social media labyrinth are reacting to certain stimuli.Who Are The 10 Most Influential Twitter Users In The World Study

The discoveries are quite enlightening and can assist us in understanding what we need to do to increase our influence.

The clever folk at Hewlett Packard Labs have been investigating what are some of the underlying forces at play in being influential on Twitter.

The team at HP Social Computing Lab is ably led by Bernardo A. Huberman who is the Director and a  Senior HP Fellow. HP Social Computing Labs focuses on methods for harvesting the collective intelligence of groups of people in order to realize greater value from the interaction between users and information.

In their research they also discovered who are the 10 most influential people and brands on Twitter according to the Hewlett Packard IP (Influence-Passive) Algorithm Rankings.

The formula is so complex it will turn your brains to mush if you only take a glimpse at it, but if you are brave and mathematically inclined you can check it out here in their research paper.

The 10 Most Influential People and Brands On Twitter

  1. Mashable – Social Media Blogger with 2,093,894 followers and on 56,687  lists
  2. Jokoanwar – Film Director with 83,839 followers and on 1,067 lists
  3. Google – Google News with 2,495,743 followers and on 46,155 lists
  4. Aplusk – Actor with 5,901,482 followers and on 59,775 lists
  5. Syfy – Science Fiction Channel with 48,867 followers and on 4,145 lists
  6. Smashingmag – Online Developer Magazine with 267,379 followers and on 21,854 lists
  7. Michellemalkin – Conservative Commentator with 112,602 followers and on 5,774 lists
  8. Theonion – News Satire Organisation with 2,410,864 followers and on 37,523 lists
  9. Rww – Tech/Social Media Blogger with 1,047,141 followers and on 11,463 lists
  10. Breakingnews – News Aggregator with 1,896,899 followers and on 32,178 lists

Do any of these influential Twitter users and brands appear on your list?

Image by CannonGod

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Interesting, and in answer to your question, no, none of them would appear on my top 10 list.

    Mashable would probably make it in the top 20, for sure, the articles keep me informed of new changes & I’ll happily RT links to their articles.

    5 of them I’ve never even heard of.

    This is an indicator of the type of content people on twitter are likely to access & place a value on.

    I’m not sure if my brain will turn to mush, but I am going to take a look at the algorithm they used. This makes a big difference to the validity of the results. Deciding what determines the “most influential” can be very subjective.

  • That research is quite extensive but (clearly) useful. The most influential brands and people are interesting. What struck me though was that none of these are big named celebrities….tells us one thing…popularity does not define influence.

  • I am with Kyle, to be on of the celebrities or to be popular does not mean being influential at all, some has thousand followers but the majotity of them are following what he is saying!!!

  • It doesn’t matter how many followers you have. The most important thing is how much you can influence the people that are following you. It is a really insteresting article. Twitter is also a media tool that needs to be analyzed strategically.

  • Thomas Moradpour

    Aplusk is a celebrity… ashton kutcher

  • Thanks for sharing this series of posts from the HP study. Lots of good information to walk away with.

  • #4 – so sad…what kind of influence does Kutcher REALLY have over people, though? I’d love to know what he did/does to get so many followers. His tweets are pretty boring, so what’s the appeal?

  • Hey
    Very interesting post. I have at least 4 of the tweeps u listed on my ‘must follow list’. ( which by the way now also includes you! ) So that’s 40 percent, right? Which by my own logic ( and no don’t even dream of asking for my personal algorithms! ) means I figured out intuitively, that what took the combined grey cells of the white-coated lab guys. Not bad, even if I say so myself, what? And I did not have to risk my brains ( the precious little that a combination of genetics and the daily hazards of working in a financial newswire service, have left me to make do with!) by taking a gander at the algorithm that you gave the link to.
    By the by I think you should be me careful about putting up such -brain to mush in next to no time -links on your blog. You do know that your blog attracts a lot of readers. I fear to think how many of our politicians may have already clicked on the link. On the other hand I doubt if it would make a difference to their brains! 🙂
    Like I said. Fabulous post and a very interesting blog. You got yourself a loyal fan! Thanks.

  • Interesting post as usual Jeff.

    I’m just relieved to see some credible names in the top ten. Was expecting Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber and Ryan Seacrest in truth! Like Claire, I’d query the definition of influence and the metrics used.

    Twitter is like high school. People flock to the popular like moths so they can access large audiences. But most of the ‘most followed’ are so interminably self obsessed and actually really dull, if they even tweet for themselves!

  • Anonymous

    Good list Jeff.
    Yes I have a couple of these, but as far as aplusk is concerned, I think influential might be an overstatement. With celebrity comes popularity.  I think we as a society confuse popularity with influence. Perhaps my own view of influence is clouding my judgement here, but there are very influential people with far fewer followers.  In Malcom Gladwell’s, book Tipping Point, he discusses mavens & connectors. The mavens are the truly influential, but the connectors spread the word.  Many of the connectors get the glory, but it is their quite mavens that tip the scales.

  • of course! I have a couple! this article made me think about social media and the power of traditional media and the potential power of each SM user….

  • of course! I have a couple! this article made me think about social media and the power of traditional media and the potential power of each SM user….