How Many Tweets Does It Take To Trend?
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How Many Tweets Does It Take To Trend?

What is a trend?

Trends are not just words, phrases or hashtags that are used a lot, or the trends box would look the same every day and always feature ‘and’, ‘if’, ‘the’ and ‘Justin Bieber’. Twitter says its trends are ‘determined by an algorithm’ and that they identify ‘topics that are immediately popular’.
When topics gain above average mentions in a short period of time, they can become trends. If there are not many topics achieving this (for example at non-peak times) then it becomes easier to create a trend. This may go some way to explain how Jeremy Paxman’s beardmanaged to trend and subsequently caused a media storm.
There is, of course, a level of unknown as Twitter doesn’t want the system to be cheated.
How many tweets?

Cision Social Media can measure the volume of tweets for a particular subject, and as some topics trend with multiple phrases at the same time (for example ‘#RoyalBaby’, ‘Kate Middleton’, and ‘#RoyalBabyFever’), we’ll work with the assumption that it’s the frequency of mentions for the individual word or phrase that leads it to trend.
Focusing on worldwi
de trends, we can measure the frequency of tweets that are required for topics that trend for a long period of time and those that last just a few minutes.

How can you start a trend?

The average number of tweets sent per day is around the world is an astonishing 1.9 Million with 631,737 unique twitter users tweeting daily.
Our research shows that on average, the number of unique twitter users online per hour is 48,233 with 83,394 tweets being sent every hour. That’s 1350 tweets per minute.
Trending topics on Twitter may very well have popped up on your Twitter feed with 8900 trending topics around the world daily.
Trending topics usually have a shelf-life of roughly 11 minutes, however, most trend for less than ten minutes. Twitter currently shows ten top trends based on your location settings.
This can be adjusted to your city or state or even a different country. This is a great tool to keep you in touch with what the rest of the world are Tweeting about and new ways of finding interesting topics.

It’s Elementary 

There are two elements to what makes a ‘Trend’ on Twitter: the number of people tweeting at any one time about the same topic and the time of day.


  • Between 12 (midnight) to 6am: approximately 1200 tweets and about 500 users to be considered a Trend



  • Between 6am to 12pm: 1700 tweets and about 733 users

  • Between 12pm to 6 pm: 1500 tweets and about 812 users

  • Between 6pm to 12am: 1900 tweets and about 922 users

  • So there you have it, It’s Twi-ence!

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