Social Media

How big news spreads on Twitter

How Twitter tracks big events
How Twitter tracks big events

News travels fast on Twitter. That much is obvious. But ever wonder how fast exactly? And to where?

Lucky for you, Twitter's data scientist on Wednesday gave CNBC a geographical look at how news spreads across the globe through Tweets. And whether it's Tuesday's big NBA news or Beyonce dropping a new album—or something as simple as a sunrise—conversations have gone global.

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When NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told a packed news conference Tuesday that he was banning Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the league for life, the East Coast lit up with a flurry of Twitter activity. That demonstrated how the story of Donald Sterling's racist comments and lifetime ban had become a national flashpoint.

Twitter's heat maps also revealed that Beyonce has a huge fan base in Turkey, among other details.

—By CNBC's Jeff Morganteen.