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Brits on Twitter look in One Direction - and it's not to Number 10

One Direction
None of these cool young men are David Cameron.                        (Photo: Calvin Aurand/TriStar pictures)

Apparently, when Harry Styles (a real person; he is the funny-haired one in boyband One Direction) tweets "I just dropped my phone on my face" it has more resonance than when David Cameron (prime minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and First Lord of the Treasury) tweets "Great to see a sharp rise in car manufacturing in the UK."

PeerIndex, a U.K. social media company, has ranked Britain's top 140 Twitter influencers, and the first five are all members of the One Direction. They are, in order: Liam Payne, the aforementioned Mr. Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik. In sixth is another warbler, Ed Sheeran

And at number seven on your list is the prime minister. CNN host and former newspaper editor Piers Morgan, journalist Caitlin Moran and comedian Ricky Gervais round out the top 10. Andy Murray is the top athlete, at number 21.

(As an aside, I like that the taciturn Murray's description of himself is this: "I play tennis.")

PeerIndex says it analyzed more than 10 billion tweets, from 150 million users. They focused on whether other people in the U.K. were "responding to, retweeting or engaging with a tweeter. Our maths also assesses who the people engaging with an influencer are. So a retweet from someone highly influential is worth more than a retweet from an average person. "

The key, it seems, is to be active and evocative.

Studies like this are really a chance for PeerIndex to get some ink, but they're fun. And they're also a chance for me to leave you with One Direction's version of "One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)" - a video they made for the British charity Comic Relief. Look for a Cameron cameo toward the end.

Get those crazy kids off the stoop!


Jennifer Quinn is a foreign affairs and investigative reporter at the Star. As a journalist with the Associated Press, based in London, she wrote extensively about British politics. Follow her on Twitter @JQStar.


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