The Biggest Twitter Publishers of May 2014

May saw steady growth for many publishers on Twitter, with the New York Times becoming the second site globally to break the 2m monthly tweets mark. For others, it was a less noteworthy month. 

After last week’s look at the biggest Facebook publishers of 2013, here are the top ten Twitter publishers of May, based on total tweets of content for last month alone:

Top Twitter Publishers May 2014

In May, the BBC’s flagship Twitter news account, @BBCBreaking, passed the 10m follower mark. What better way to celebrate the feat than to break records by passing the 3m monthly tweets barrier for the first time?

There was gradual growth for most top publishers across the board. As predicted last month, The New York Times became the first publisher to join the BBC with over 2m monthly tweets of new content. Coupled with the BBC’s new record, could this mean that publishers at the top of the table are starting to pull away from the others, à la BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post on Facebook?

After the end of their enormously popular ‘People of the Year’ posts in April, Time dropped well back down the charts. Sports site Bleacher Report entered the top ten, while the LA Times also had a good month, climbing from 421,000 tweets to 582,000.

The most popular story on Twitter last month was TMZ’s video exclusive showing a dramatic family row in an elevator featuring Jay Z, Beyonce and Solange. (62,100 tweets).

As ever, popular content was deeply varied across Twitter. Big news stories included the death of American poet Maya Angelou, a report on a Justin Bieber/Michael Jackson ‘collaboration’, and news that parts of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is collapsing.

This month, it’s been widely reported that Twitter is targeting the World Cup as a way of boosting user engagement and interest in the platform.

We’ll be watching closely next month to see what the biggest moments of the World Cup were for Twitter users. We’ll also be interested to see if WC coverage led to any noticeable bump in Twitter activity for different publishers.

Check out the top 25 publishers and their stats below. Please note that figures are for content published in May 2014 alone. For more social publishing data and analysis sign up for our weekly newsletter. We’ll be back with a look at LinkedIn publishers’ performance soon.

As usual, we’d love to hear any of your questions, comments or requests? Get in touch by email, or on Twitter @NewsWhip.

How do we know how sites are performing on Twitter?

We compiled our data using Spike, which tracks the content that people are sharing and engaging with on Twitter, in real time. It’s used by some of the world’s leading digital newsrooms – there’s a free trial for new users.

NewsWhip gathers its data from Spike, our professional platform that monitors the social distribution of news. While we strive for complete coverage, sometimes we will miss some content for some publishers. If it looks to you like we’re missing something or have our numbers wrong, drop us a line.