CNN takes control of CNNbrk Twitter account

NEW YORK - CNN is understood to have taken over the Twitter account @cnnbrk, which last night passed the one million followers mark -- making it one of the most followed accounts on the micro blogging service.

CNNbrk, a rolling news service on Twitter, has been a huge success and is run by James Cox who has been working with CNN for some time.

Following the transfer of @CNNbrk account he will continue to work as a consultant for the news service.

Under Twitter's rules, accounts cannot be bought and sold, which is why the announcement is not being called an acquisition.

Any financial compensation due to Cox is being offered for his services -- which also happens to include his Twitter account.

A spokeswoman for CNN, said: "CNN has certainly not bought the Twitter account -- rather the ownership of the @cnnbrk Twitter account was officially transferred to us.

"We've been working with James Cox on the @cnnbrk account for more than two years.

"We have a longstanding and positive relationship, and contracted him to conduct some social networking workshops for CNN employees."

Cox created the CNNbrk account in the early days of Twitter in 2007 as a way of updating his mobile phone with breaking news.

The transfer of the account to CNN follows the massive buzz and growth around CNNbrk, which had racked 964,075 followers by yesterday afternoon. However, overnight it hit 1,004,059.

In recent months the buzz has turned into a race against Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) who had also been racing towards one million followers.

That race ended yesterday with victory for Mr Demi Moore as his followers lept from 949,482 to 1,006,556 overnight.

Kutcher created a Twitter storm recently when he posted a picture of Demi Moore's backside, clad only in her underwear.

Kutcher also posted a video on YouTube urging his fans to follow him to demonstrate the power of social media over the news network.

He said in the video: "When I saw that I was approaching a million and that CNN was too, I thought this was really significant for social media.

"For one person to have the ability to broadcast to as many as people as a major media network, I think signifies the turning of the tide from traditional news outlets to social news outlets.

"Because with our video cameras on our cell-phones, on our picture cams, with our blogging, with our twittering and our posting and our Facebook accounts we actually become the sources of the news, and the broadcasters of the news and the consumers of the news.

"We actually have the ability to turn the tide."

CNN presenter Larry King has posted a comeback on YouTube declaring: "Are you kidding, do you think you can take on an entire network, do you know how big we are, do you know what CNN is?

"Kutcher, you're playing out of your field. CNN will bury you."

EA has said that Kutcher's millionth follower will be made into a Sim in the 'Sims 3' game.

The acquisition will not come as surprise to some who follow Cox's personal Twitter account (7,652) after he posted "On the way home after a busy two days. Goodbye Atlanta!".

CNN's headquarters are based in Atlanta.