The most influential Twitter account is a Brazilian elderly woman with a foul mouth and a GIF powered avatar, showcasing the tweeter doing sexy things. Twiter Da Vovó, which translates to Grandma Twitter, has the most widely retweeted Twitter account that also ranked in at least 50 trending topics. That makes her the most influential Twitterer, ranking just above CNN Breaking News, according to the metric used by HP Labs's report about Twitter influence. Twiter Da Vovo isn't the only odd ball in the rankings. There are other anomalous accounts, along with major news organizations, making us wonder how exactly the HP Labs people figured out "influence?"
According to the study, HP Labs looked at whose tweets contributed to trending topics, and looking at the retweet frequency of tweets that also occurred in trending topics. "Each retweet credits the original poster of the tweet," the authors write. "Hence, to identify the authors who are retweeted the most in the trending topics, we counted the number of retweets for each author on each topic." They did this looking at the trending topics over a course of 40 day period starting in September 2010. They looked at over 16.32 million tweets and found the following results:
As you can see, scattered between The New York Times and Reuters fall some odd names, like @LadyGonga and @Keshasuja. The authors don't try to explain these weird results. But given that the research only looked at a specific time frame, that might explain these non-news accounts. Perhaps during those days something trended on Twitter that got them a lot of retweets. Actually, Twiter Da Vovo is the least suspect of the non-news accounts, with 174,857 followers, and a YouTube following. @Keshasuja has a blocked account and only 75 followers; @LadyGonga has a bigger audience with 4,201 followers. But she has only tweeted 29 times. And the @HerbertFromFG account no longer exists, but you can find an archive of his tweets here.
Twiter Da Vovo, on the other hand, is an Internet star of sorts. Although her account and YouTube videos are in Portuguese, from what we can tell Twiter Da Vovo is a comedian who swears a lot. She describes herself on Twitter as "Humorista, Lynda e Ryca" and she runs her mouth on her YouTube show, where she answers tweeted questions on TV. We have no idea what she is saying. But the line of "hot chicks" in the opening segment and her attitude lead us to believe she talks about raunchy things. And assuming bleeping is universal for bad words, she swears up a storm while she's at it.
For your enjoyment, here's that GIF we mentioned earlier:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.