As One Direction are ranked more influential on Twitter than David Cameron and Nigel Farage, Channel 4 News looks at the role of influence and power in social media.
According to PeerIndex, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik all came in the top five in influential figures in the UK.
They were followed by another musician, Ed Sheeran, meaning that musicians hold most of the power when it comes influence in social media.
David Cameron, Piers Morgan, Caitlin Moran and Ricky Gervais completed the top ten.
PeerIndex analysed more than 10bn tweets from more than 150m active Twitter users to compile the list. They then focused on whether other people in the UK were responding to, retweeting or engaging with a Tweeter.
In this, the members of One Direction came out on top.
Julia White, Editor of Yahoo omg! told Channel 4 News: "Twitter is the type of social media platform that really does give power to sheer volume.
"It's all about the ripple effect of an idea, which develops into a wave and then a Twitter storm as it gathers retweets and interaction.
"With One Direction having 85m followers across all accounts, it's not hard for a tweet to go viral very quickly, influencing a swathe of people's Twitter activity as it goes."
Influence is often, wrongly, judged by the number of followers they have Clare Wardle, Storyful
Azeem Azhar, Founder, PeerIndex told Channel 4 News: "Our research shows the influence comes in many flavours - from a boy band with hordes of fans to a polarising writer with sharply held views, but a much smaller audience.
"On social media, influence is the ability to drive engagement and action amongst others."
Columnist Owen Jones and activist Sunny Hundal feature very strongly despite having comparatively small followings. And vloggers like Caspar Lee and Alfie Deyes have been able to turn YouTube influence into Twitter power.
Newspaper journalists were excluded from the list, however Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow - located at 72, slightly below Russell Brand and slightly higher than Richard Branson - made the list.
Clare Wardle from Storyful told Channel 4 News: "Influence is often, wrongly, judged by the number of followers they have. However, you can have an account with very high follower numbers, but people rarely click on the links that they share.
"Conversely, you can have someone with relatively few followers, but within their digital community they are hugely influential.
"They key to influence is how much someone is trusted, and how much they appear to know what they're talking about."
Ms Wardle added: "People who love One Direction love the fact that they can see and engage with their idols 'directly'.
"As a result, any tweet by any member of One Direction gets a huge reaction.
"A tweet by David Cameron is less likely to create these types of conversations, unless he says something very controversial, which is very unlikely.".
Dr Mariann Hardey, programme director, lecturer in marketing, University of Durham, also told Channel 4 News: "Brands, and even some political figures, would have us believe that influence can be measured as a static quantified statistic.
"However, this data leaves aside the context and even content for interaction and communication."
Dr Hardey added: "David Cameron represents a political figure who appears at best removed from his public social media profile, and at worse is evidently carefully managed, not interactive and simply broadcast information giving.
"Compared with interactive content that is multi-platform and multi-medium from One Direction.
"The influence of one is greater than the other because of style, communication, interactivity and entertainment.
"But then we do not necessarily want our political figures to be 'more' entertaining."
16 August 2013
04 November 2010
- 10bn Tweets… 140 Influencers… One Direction http://www.peerindex.com/