Thursday, November 3, 2011

On what topics are twitter users tweeting the most?

   Tweet Dynamics recently categorized 100,000 tweets into topics and conducted a statistical analysis of the topics that Twitter users are interested in the most. The analysis in the following spreadsheet reveals the frequency with which various tweet topics appear:


   The results show that the top 10 topics on twitter are:

rap music
television programs
soul music

The spreadsheets containing the analysis of the 100,000 tweets can be viewed at:

Why is Tweet Topic Analysis challenging?

   Analyzing the topics for millions of tweets can be a challenging task. Tweet Dynamics software is able to determine tweet topics with 80% accuracy as of now. However, there are still many challenges remaining to be addressed in order to improve the process of tweet categorization. Some of these challenges have been outlined below:
  1. Context sensitive categorization of tweets: Tweet Dynamics software currently categorizes noun phrases in the tweets and determines tweet topics based on the topics of the noun phrases. This can result in incorrect categorization when the topic of the noun phrase is not consistent with the context in which it is mentioned in the tweet. For example the tweet - I saw a shooting star in the sky yesterday - might be categorized into the topic music album since shooting star is the name of a music album. However this category is not correct since in the context of the tweet shooting star is a meteor and not a music album.
  2. Filtering out interesting tweets: Many tweets that users post are status updates and are not interesting to other users. For example the tweet - Uptown2967 I'm thinking nap over lunch today - is a status update which might be of interest to the users friends but is not of interest to the majority of users. Tweet Dynamics software will currently categorize this tweet into the food category. One solution to this problem would be to categorize tweets from only the most influential twitter users. This will help the categorization software in focusing on the most interesting tweets.

How does Tweet Dynamics help with Tweet Topic Analysis?

  Tweet Dynamics helps with tweet topic analysis by categorizing tweets into broad as well as fine grained topics. The map page helps users in determining the topics that are popular within a certain region. The directory page helps users view all the tweets that fall within a particular topic. In subsequent releases Tweet Dynamics will provide more ways to visualize tweet topics as well as tweet streams. Tweet Dynamics also plans to do sentiment analysis on the tweets and display the most happening topics in a manner that will catch the user's attention immediately. Some ideas include displaying sentiment based emoticons beside the tweets and displaying the most talked about topics in blinking red on the map page as well as in a virtual twitter stream.

   Any feedback from users regarding additional improvements in Tweet Dynamics will be greatly appreciated.

Who can benefit from Tweet Topic Analysis?

   Tweet topic analysis can be beneficial to general twitter users as well as specific groups of people. Here is an outline of how tweet topic analysis can be used by various kinds of users:
  1. Business Analysts can use tweet topic analysis to get an idea of the opinions people have of the products and services provided by their company. Usually when new products are released in the market there is a buzz in twitter about it. Capturing the tweets for their company's products as well as the products offered by their competitors can give Business Analysts insight as to how to their business can be improved.
  2. Advertisers can use location specific tweet topics analysis to get information on the topics that people from a certain location are tweeting about. If a large number of people are tweeting about laptops in Urbana, Illinois for example, advertisers can target Urbana for displaying ads on laptops. Also tweet topic analysis over a longer period of time can help advertisers get an idea about people's overall interests in various regions.
  3. Journalists can use tweet topic analysis to get user opinions on news events and write articles that take into account user sentiments on various topics. Also, since people from different regions can have different opinions on events, location specific tweet topic analysis can help journalists in writing articles that are relevant to people from a certain region.
  4. General Twitter Users can use tweet topic analysis to understand public opinion on various interesting topics which in turn can help them make informed decisions about various aspects of their life. Twitter users can also find interesting topic specific tweets which they can in turn retweet to their followers or use to start a discussion with the senders of the tweets.

Why is Tweet Topic Analysis helpful?

   Tweet topic analysis can be helpful in determining what millions of users on twitter are tweeting about. Twitter users tweet about various subjects and their tweet topics vary from day to day based on the events that occur in their community as well as events that occur globally. Categorizing tweets into broad topics like sports and politics and specific topics like cell phones and baseball players can help user in focusing on tweet topics that interest them the most.