How Topsy can spin Twitter data into gold

Following conversations on Twitter can be absolutely maddening. When they erupt in full force (as they are wont to do), it’s almost impossible to follow a hashtag thread comprised of misspelled snarky asides. Bah! It’s almost not worth the effort. But data miners and experts of analytics disagree. They see gold in Twitter’s ambient sound and fury.

Even more, they are interested in previously discarded data from years ago. Imagine having access to every single tweet from the beginning of Twitter. What would you find? Twiiter has allowed a group of data analytic companies to begin the process of sorting through its backlist of posts. Each of its partners is hoping to glean insight from long-forgotten (and seemingly random) tweets. Their mission, according to Adweek, is to track consumer sentiment and/or trends.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Topsy, one of only four companies allowed to resell Twitter’s backlist, is currently combing through a slush pile of tweets dating back to the digital Stone Age (2006). A social search and analytics company based in San Francisco, Topsy prides itself on taking social data measurements into overdrive. With every tweet in its index, Topsy can now provide an even richer historical context to the world we live in.

Says Jamie De Guerre, the company’s senior vice president of product and marketing: “With every tweet at our disposal, we’re able to help companies understand and deliver on what audiences want, fuel better marketing campaigns, and make better business decisions.”

For example, if you’re surprised by the success of a television show like The Walking Dead, let Topsy show you precisely how nerd culture shifted away from vampires and moved toward zombies. These are the kinds of insights companies desperately want. But hindsight is cheap. Predicting the future is where the big money is. And that’s where Topsy comes to play. Take a look at its client list: Warner Bros., AOL, Yahoo!, and ESPN (among others). These are giant corporations that depend on the quickly changing, almost fickle nature of the marketplace. For them, Topsy is an invaluable resource.

Ultimately, Topsy’s true value is its seemingly unlimited resource. Not only does it curate a library of old tweets, but it also keeps an analytical eye on the 600 million new tweets that pop up each day. Says TechCrunch: “Topsy can offer detailed stats around the data, it can count how many times a term like “Obama” was ever mentioned, or inform hedge funds how users really feel about the new iPhone. Brands can monitor their social media presence, to figure out how to better target ads or influencers.”

Eric Searleman
Based in San Francisco, Eric Searleman is an editor at aNewDomain.net. Eric has worked as a newspaper reporter, a fiction editor and a comic book artist. Email him at [email protected]
Eric Searleman
Eric Searleman
Tags: Business,Social Media