Visualize insights on Twitter with new tools from Indiana University


Indiana University’s Social Media Observatory has released three new Twitter tools that allow users to take a closer look at the app’s social media posts.

Those looking to analyze how information travels on Twitter and how topics go viral now have the tools to do so.

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New Information on Twitter and Networking Tools from Indiana UniversityScreenshot of OSoMe’s Network Tool, July 2022

Created by the Social Networks Observatory or OSoMe at Indiana University, the collection includes three freely available tools that take an in-depth look at conversations, actors, messages, and polarization in online discussions around tweets and hashtags.

  • Networks Tool – Creates 3D maps of news networks that visualize retweets, mentions, hashtag relationships, and other data.
  • Trends tool – Analyzes the volume of tweets in a given hashtag, URL, or keyword over time to identify trending topics, viral content, and specific topics like brands, products, or stocks.
  • BotAmp Tool – Identify and measure bot activity for a specific keyword or hashtag and compare bot activity across multiple topics.

“You often hear that something goes viral, but how? Our tools show you what the conversation is about, who the actors are, what viral posts are, and you can even visualize the polarization. It provides a place to explore topics and how they work together,” said Filippo Menczer, director of OSoMe and Luddy Professor Emeritus of Computing and Computing at IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.

The tools collect around 10% of all public tweets, or 50 million per day, which are then indexed and analyzed. This information is stored for three years, allowing users to examine trends and historical data and to create an accurate picture of trends and topics over time.

All three social media tools are free, along with other tools, APIs, and data sets on the OSoMe website.

A Deeper Look at Inauthentic Communication and Behavior Online

OSoMe is a joint project between the Network Science Institute, the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, and Indiana University’s Media School, specializing in the study of information, misinformation and vulnerabilities that have increased with social media.

While this appears to be a purely platform-specific issue, researchers have found that many of these tactics have real consequences in the offline world.

An example of such projects includes the manipulation of Twitter through deletions.

By examining more than a billion deletions across more than 11 million accounts, researchers found that a small number of bad actors will strategically delete large amounts of content to avoid tweet volume limits.

They also found networks of accounts that coordinated to like and dislike content before the deletion. This tactic artificially amplifies specific content and popularity while simultaneously avoiding detection.

Users, brands, and media then latched onto these topics, expanding their reach beyond the platform.

A new generation of tools and analytics for brands and publishers

Journalists, researchers, and users don’t have to solve major social media problems to find OSoMe tools useful.

As competition increases, consumer habits change, and the noise level of the online world continues to rise, businesses, marketers, and even nonprofits need to take a closer look at the data. which they already have.

Personas, for example, were once based on basic demographic information.

Now, deep social media dives allow marketers to understand:

  • Linguistic models
  • Pain points
  • Customer Education Opportunities
  • Content and branding gaps
  • Keyword usage and intent
  • Target market and segments
  • Advertising and marketing gaps
  • Profitable partnerships

And that’s just the beginning. Marketers can greatly expand their current data knowledge and research by analyzing news networks, keyword usage, and hashtags on Twitter.

However, there is an important caveat: as the tools provide a deeper look into the systems that underpin the digital world, marketers, brands, journalists and others will need to be careful about interpretations of the data. and the assumptions they make.


Feature image: Andrii Yalanskyi/Shutterstock

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