Teens and Twitter trends

By John Bowman, CBCNews.ca.

This morning, the four top trending topics on Twitter had to do with the Teen Choice Awards, either auto-posted quiz results ("Who is the hottest guy at the Teen Choice Awards 2009?") or Miley Cyrus fans expressing their appreciation of her pole-dance atop an ice cream cart (#WeLoveYouMiley).

The sixth trending topic was "Teens Don't Tweet."

Clearly there's a disconnect here.

The phrase "Teens Don't Tweet" appears in this story from Mashable last week and in the post on Neilsen Wire that it references. The current trend seems to stem from yet more auto-posted quiz results refuting the claim.

The claim that teens don't tweet comes from Neilsen's analysis on Twitter's demographics, suggesting that only 16 per cent of visitors to Twitter.com are under 25. By comparison, Neilsen says, about 25 per cent of internet users in the U.S. are under 25.

So, teens are underrepresented on Twitter. Then why are teens' interests overrepresented in Twitter's trending topics? Is it that teens on Twitter are all talking about the same thing? Do these quiz results that all post the same text skew Twitter's trend algorithms?

Or are there a whole lot of tweeting 25- to 54-year-olds who are really into Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers?