The story of how CNN acquired the most followed account on Twitter

The story of how CNN acquired the most followed account on Twitter


note: CNN was the most followed account on Twitter at time of writing. Ashton Kutcher is now the most followed person on Twitter after reaching the million follower milestone first.

We recently reported on the story of Twitter’s most followed account cnnbrk (CNN Breaking News) being officially taken over by the news corporation. With the recent hullaballoo on CNN television about the race to a million followers (Ashton Kutcher who has now won) on Twitter, it was clearly an interesting fact that the account didn’t actually belong to the corporation at all but rather a London based consultant James Cox.

Today we can share the official story of the ‘acquisition’ and exactly how it all went down.

A little over two years ago, James Cox created a Twitter account (@cnnbrk) to be able to send CNN’s Breaking News RSS feed through to his mobile. A few months later, Cox received a phone call from CNN who had noticed how Cox and others had also begun to use the account. After some discussion, they both agreed to work collaboratively on the account with CNN helping promote it and Cox sharing his knowledge of Twitter and other social media applications with them.

Two years later, the account now approaching a million followers, CNN call Cox in for a chat  at their head quarters in Atlanta. The agreement they arrived upon, according to CNN, means in exchange for the transferring the account over to CNN, Cox will provide consulting services to their staff.

Twitter has always made clear that buying or selling Twitter usernames is against Twitter terms and conditions, and any accounts involved would automatically be suspended. CNN and Cox have neatly managed to work around any legal turmoil by employing Cox in return and ensuring a happy end for all involved.

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