You'd think that the most popular tweet would be something funny and witty (like the ones illustrated at our pal Twaggies), but you'd be wrong.
Roja Bandari and colleagues from UCLA and HP Labs have cracked the (boring) secret to predicting the popularity of tweets [pdf], with a remarkable 84% accuracy. For example:
... emotional language doesn't seem to matter when it comes to predictable sharing. A tweet that calmly describes what you'll get by clicking on a link -- "Here is some news about Lady Gaga" -- will have about the same attentional impact as a tweet that HYPERBOLICALLY SHOUTS IT. Even within the tumult that is the Internet, when it comes to framing the news, objective language does just as well as emotional.
While that's unsurprising on the one hand, on the other it's its own kind of WHOA HUGE NEWS finding. Conventional wisdom -- and even our everyday experience of the web -- might suggest that emotion and overall WHOAness would trump other considerations. This is the operational logic of a site like Buzzfeed, whose brand is driven by little else beyond the WHOA.
The Atlantic has more: Link