Twitter tracks mood of the nation
Several uses for Twitter have been devised over the years, with a discovery by British researchers the latest to be added to the list.
Academics based at Loughborough University believe they can use the social networking site to monitor the mood of a whole nation, simply by tracking their reactions to big events.
The system is capable of analysing up to 2,000 tweets every second, before extracting one of eight basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, confusion, surprise, shame or disgust.
Not only this, the system can be used to see how people react to follow-up events, such as steps taken by authorities or attempts at improving public relations in the wake of some sort of scandal.
Principal investigator Professor Tom Jackson from the university’s Centre for Information Management said it is now easier than ever to assess what people are feeling.
"Twitter is a very concise platform through which users express publicly how they feel about a particular event, be that a criminal act, a new government policy or even a change in the weather," he commented.
"Through the computer program we have created we can collate these expressions of feelings in real time, map them geographically and track how they develop."
Having an insight into people's reactions to certain events can prove invaluable for companies running Twitter campaigns, not least because they know how to better pitch their marketing strategies.
Imagine being able to see what events people are getting excited about and having the opportunity to tap into this sentiment – with this new technology, this could soon become a reality.
Although the system is only currently available for use on tweets originating from the UK, the team is hoping that it will be rolled out across the world in the near future.
Posted by Emma Furze