Twitter Analytics to give users insight into the world of tweets

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

One thing I am keeping an eye on for my clients is Twitter and its efforts to allow users to perform the same sort of internal analytics that Google does. Local SEM planners need to watch Twitter and follow the social media microgiant as it tweaks this new program.

Twitter is now starting to beta test its official analytics product with a select group of users. This comes five months after their acquisition of Trendly – an analytics dashboard for Twitter. No date has been announced as to when this feature will be launched to all Twitter users (stay tuned), although I’m anticipating to see it in early 2011.

Here’s what the free version of Twitter Analytics offers today.

Timeline Activity Dashboard

We can see from the screenshot below that Twitter Analytics will track: Mentions; Retweets; Replies; Follows and Unfollows; and Favorites. It will also graph some of this data in a bar chart in 6-hour increments.

Twitter Analytics - Timeline Activity

Promoted Tweets Dashboard

Given this dedicated section, it appears that a big motivation behind Twitter Analytics, is to help advertisers gauge what they’re getting from advertising through Twitter.

In this dashboard you can see the number of Impressions, Clicks, Retweets, and Replies over a selected date range. You have the option to graph by 6-hour increments, by day, and by week.

Twitter Analytics - Promoted Tweets

What This Means

  • Many third-party Twitter applications that focus on tracking Twitter metrics will soon become obsolete.
  • Twitter is becoming more “business-friendly”. This is especially true if we see Google Analytics integration from Twitter, which is a possibility given that Trendly worked with GA.
  • Average Twitter users may start to become obsessed with being more “influential”. :)

The microblogging site’s newest tool is expected to allow users to view information about their accounts, such as the most successful tweets, the most influential followers, and which tweets caused people to unfollow them, the article said. In addition, users will be able to filter tweets by category using the tool, which is expected to be free, according to the report.

Several third-party companies, such as Twittalyzer, Tweetstats, and TweetEffect, offer analytics and trending services.

In June, Twitter acquired Smallthought Systems, a website analytics team. The Smallthought staff joined Twitter’s analytics team, and worked on integrating Smallthought’s Trendly technology into the site’s current tools.

In related news, Twitter partnered with social data provider Gnip to offer up to half of the Twitter firehose of tweets for sale. However, businesses buying these tweets are unable to display or resell them. Rather, the tweets are solely for analysis, according to Twitter and Gnip.

“There’s enormous corporate demand for better monitoring and analytics tools, which help companies listen to their customers on Twitter and understand conversations about their brands and products,” said Jud Valeski, CEO of Gnip. “This partnership opens the door to developers who want to use Twitter streams to create monitoring and analytics tools for the non-display market.”

In its first wave of offerings, the partnership provides Twitter Halfhose, a volume-based feed of half the full firehose; Twitter Mentionhose, a coverage-based feed that provides a real-time stream of all tweets — including replies and retweets — that mention a user; and Twitter Decahose, a volume-based product of 10% of the full firehose.

Local SEM guides will be watching this closely as Twitter is a contributing factor to most SEM plans in the near future.