People with few followers attempt to boost their popularity by increasing the number of tweets they send but this is costly and inefficient.
The researchers analysed thousands of conversations and discovered how to measure relates effort to influence by people using Twitter.
The structure of Twitter is the key to influence. Twitter is a heteregeneous network wherer there are a large number of people with few folllowers and a very few with up to 40 to 50 million followers.
Rosa M. Benito, a researcher at UPM, said: “Ordinary users can gain the same number of retweets as popular users by increasing their activity abruptly.”
The diagram shows a visualisation of the spreading of messages on Twitter (retweets network in green) on the followers network (grey). The nodes represent users and their size is proportional to the number of followers that they have. Red indicates users who have written original tweets and yellow indicates users who have retweeted them.