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The Info Mayflies: The Life Span of a Tweet

February 8, 2015

I read “Why It’s Never Been Harder to Be Seen on Social Networks (and What to Do about It: Hint, Buy Ads).” Google would certainly approve of this title’s message. The Twitter Google tie up is designed to deal with recalcitrant Twitter members like my dog Tess. She has a Twitter account and a Facebook page.

I noted a factoid:

tweets have an extremely short life span; a tweet’s half-life—that is, when half of a link’s total clicks occur—is 24 minutes, according to social media analytics firm Wisemetrics. So if a consumer doesn’t interact with a brand’s message shortly after it’s posted, chances are, he probably never will. Marketers are finding similar situations on Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and even the shopping-focused, advertising-supported Polyvore.

I have zero idea if this assertion is accurate. My hunch is that the time value of a tweet is even less. I, for example, do not read tweets; therefore, the tweets flowing out that I could view have a life spam of zero.

With Twitter a growth challenged and geographic-centric activity, tweets are ephemeral in my view.

One way to interpret this factoid is that a Twitter member who wants to be noticed faces an uphill climb. But Mother Google and Cousin Twitter are there to help—for a price.

Stephen E Arnold, February 8, 2015

Twitter Relies on Bing’s Translation Engine to Offer Tweet Translations

February 4, 2015

The article on Search Engine Journal titled Twitter Teams Up With Bing To Offer Translated Tweets expands on the announcement by Twitter that they will be bringing back the translation of tweets. The project was abandoned in 2013, but has returned with the assistance of Bing’s translation engine. While the service is not without flaws, the article suggests that it beats no translation ability at all.

“The company admits that the service is far from perfect and still needs to be worked on: “… the results still vary and often fall below the accuracy and fluency of translations provided by a professional translator.”

While the service no doubt leaves something to be desired, it’s still an improvement over the zero built-in options they had before. Bing’s translation engine works with more than 40 language pairs, and is currently available on, Twitter for iOS and Android, and TweetDeck.”

If you are interested in setting up the translator you need to change your account settings to “Show Tweet translations.” Once this has been established, clicking on the globe icon will show a translation of the original text. Since the company already allows for the fact that this is not a professional translator, we can only wonder how any translation service will handle the fluidity of abbreviations and slang on Twitter.

Chelsea Kerwin, February 04, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext App Enables Improved Search on Twitter

February 4, 2015

The review on KillerStartups titled Finally! An Effective Way to Filter Twitter! discusses and their algorithm for sorting through the noise on Twitter. Unlike Facebook, the article mentions, Twitter has avoided the use of filters, opting for the chaos of every tweet for itself. Beyond following specific conversations or searching via hashtag, there are not very effective methods for organizing and finding relevant tweets. offers a solution:

“ not only presents the most timely topics front and center on both their mobile-optimized site and app but also lets you search for topics that interest you, again presenting the most relevant tweets before the general jibber-jabber. It’s a great solution for anyone who wants to keep up on the conversations around current events but for whom even the thought of opening Twitter’s main feed makes them sigh with frustration.”

This would improve the hashtag search function, which is still going to present a mess of tweets.’s search algorithm promises to bring the more relevant tweets to the forefront. Additionally sweet for many Twitter-users, is not an app unique to use in the United States. It allows the user to pick between the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain and Mexico. The article surmises that this list will grow as the app becomes more popular.

Chelsea Kerwin, February 04, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Twitter Bots Abound

September 23, 2014

Quartz grabs our attention with its headline, “Twitter Admits That as Many as 23 Million of Its Active Users Are Automated.” These accounts, which automatically request updates and may or may not also auto-post, include “users” like third-party data-display apps. Reporter Zachary M. Seward writes:

“The new disclosure was an attempt to clarify an earlier statement (pdf) that 14% of MAUs access the service outside of the official website and mobile apps, by using Twitter’s API. Twitter’s update today specifies that the 14% figure ‘included certain users who accessed Twitter through owned and operated applications.’ Those are likely TweetDeck and Twitter for Mac, which are favored by power tweeters but, for technical reasons, aren’t counted in many of the company’s official statistics. The company said only 11% of MAUs accessed Twitter from applications that the company doesn’t own, like Tweetbot or Flipboard.

“To be clear, automated accounts aren’t necessarily spam accounts, which according to Twitter make up less than 5% of MAUs. Bots can be useful, even essential, accounts for many Twitter users. But once they’re set up, they don’t usually have any humans behind them, which matters greatly to advertisers who are interested in reaching potential customers.”

Seward maintains that Twitter should be concerned for its advertisers (itself included), who may feel they are pouring ad dollars down a black hole. I’m sure they can work out some equitable fee structure(s). We wonder, though, what the implications are for high-value content that attracts interested readers.

Cynthia Murrell, September 23, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Incorporating Twitter Sentiment Analysis into Trading Software

February 21, 2014

Thomson Reuters has added Twitter sentiment analysis to its Eikon subscription trading platform. Sorting tweets into positive and negative messages based on proprietary language-processing technology, the feature meets the demands of a growing number of traders.


According to Matthew Finnegan’s story “Thomson Reuters Adds Twitter Sentiment Analysis to Eikon Trading Terminal” for Computerworld UK, the analytics tool will show users the volume of both positive and negative messaging relating to specific companies on an hourly basis. Thomson Reuters’ Chief Technology Officer Philip Brittan stressed that the information will be used primarily for research, not a basis for trading decisions.


Since there have been instances of fake Tweets influencing markets, the caution is probably justified. But the power of social media’s unstructured data cannot be denied, and Eikon is attempting to harness it for subscribers:


“…the Eikon sentiment analysis aims to also make it easier for humans to quickly make sense of masses of social media information currently available, with tens of thousands of tweets about major companies each day.”


It’s one more way we see social media emerging as the dominant media force of the 21st century.


Laura Abrahamsen, February 21, 2014


Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Twitter Improves Search Capabilities Adds New Filters

February 17, 2014

The article titled Gets New Search Filters for News, Videos, and People You Follow on TNW pronounces that Twitter has improved search (a little bit.) In sum, Twitter’s search will now allow its users to search in the categories of photos, videos, news, people you follow, and locations. This is certainly meant to make search easier on its users. When it comes to sorting through the millions of Tweets, it might come in handy to have more specific filters. The article explains,

“Twitter revealed the new features today with a tweet, but it’s not clear exactly when the filters began rolling out. Earlier filters let you specify whether you were searching for photos or people. The official iOS and Android Twitter apps got new search filters last November. Twitter’s Advanced Search feature still exists for those who need the extra search operator functions.”

The announcement tweet read, “We’re bringing new filters to search on ? : by videos, news, people you follow, and more.” This small change might not be the most exciting innovation in search, but the article does express some interest in the new ability to weed out irrelevant tweets when searching for something read earlier in the day.

Chelsea Kerwin, February 17, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Big Twitter Upgrade

December 7, 2013

Twitter revamped its apps for Android and iPhones the other day, says Business Insider in the article: “New Twitter App Features.” The upgrade comes after Twitter decided it wanted its users to find content a lot easier and direct messaging has been altered as well. Twitter made the strategic decision to incorporate TV Trends into the app.

It has been tested over the summer and adds a new level of interaction between users:

“The basis of the TV trends section is that you can chat about your favorite show with other fans but that seems to be about it. All you need to do to access it is head to the “Discover” section of the app. Enter the trending option and head all the way down to the bottom. After that, you can talk about it various elements of either “American Horror Story” or “Late Night with David Letterman.” This is where filters come into play since each sub-section only posts the most prominent tweet.”

Timelines now flow into the trending section with the most prominent trends displayed. Filters also work in this section by providing insight into local areas, events, and conversations when you adjust the parameters to find local content.

Twitter has added another sophisticated layer to the social tool. Researchers can use it to discover trends in actual real-time as well as connecting people on a more local level. It does contribute to the privacy invasion factor, kind of creepy if you ask me.

Whitney Grace, December 07, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

An Analysis of Deleted Tweets

November 7, 2013

It is only human to wish we could take back hurtful or embarrassing words. On the other hand, it is tough to search for information that is no longer there. University of Edinburgh researchers have been looking into the motives behind deleted Twitter missives, we learn in Digital Trends‘ piece, “New Research is Revealing What Tweets Get Deleted—and Why.” You can see the study as a PDF here.

Not surprisingly, a particularly rich field for deleted tweets lies in the political realm. Writer Kate Knibbs tells us:

“Nicko Margolies, projects coordinator for the Sunlight Foundation (the organization that runs Politiwoops) says that they’ve noted a number of reasons politicians have chosen to delete their tweets. ‘The ones that we find most interesting are the situations where politicians change their position on something or craft their language into a message others are using. This is often seen through popular hashtags or talking points that many politicians echo to their followers, bringing the issue (and their position) to the forefront of the digital conversation,’ he says.”

Of course. The team says, though, that public figures are not the only ones concerned with how their 140-words-or-less may be interpreted. They found that many reconsidered tweets contained curse words. In what I suspect is a related finding, they discovered people are more likely to delete tweets very late at night.

Tweets containing sensitive information like social security numbers or email addresses are also more likely to be removed. Knibbs sensibly wonders whether such deletions increased after revelations about NSA surveillance came out, but that information is not available. She hopes other researchers take up the topic of deleted online postings because, she says, what we choose to redact reveals much about online behavior. Such studies could even prompt us to pause before we post something we’d regret. Maybe.

Cynthia Murrell, November 07, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

How New Media vs Traditional Media Fares on Twitter

November 5, 2013

We caught an intriguing finding in a Social Times article recently. The title of it sums up the point nicely: “The New York Times Gets More Mentions Online than Mashable.” The majority of the piece is shared through infographic form, a clear nod to new media. Digimind, a SaaS social media monitoring and competitive intelligence company produced the infographic.

One of the ways the data is presented is through the fact that old media is nearly 3 times more likely to be mentioned on Twitter than new media.

Digimind states in a quoted blog post:

“While our love for social platforms may be strong, we still rely heavily on media stalwarts, and the numbers back this up. The infographic reveals that “old media,” which includes The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, make up 72 percent of share of voice in total, while The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and Mashable make up only 28 percent.”

Is it readership numbers that are important or is it engagement data that matters? Ironically, a traditional media outlet has received more engagement via mentions that a new media company. The New York Times remains a winner! And that seems to be the best direction we could be going in, based on the word cloud from the new media side related to the government shutdown where Ferris Bueller is presented as the concept with the most mentions.

Megan Feil, November 05 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Beyond Search

Top New Social Sites and Why Facebook is no Longer Hot

September 16, 2013

According to the recent article “Facebook Usage is Changing – So Which Online Social Activities are Growing?” Facebook is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Instead of utilizing social networks that are tied to their real-life identity, today’s teens are flocking towards other networks that allow them to use pseudonyms and avatars.

Some of the hot new social sites that are taking the world by storm are: Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and (of course) Twitter.

The article explains why Twitter was included in the list, and how it differentiates itself from Facebook:

“There’s some evidence that Twitter is becoming more popular, with usage among teens doubling in the past year. Twitter might seem a bit stuffy, like one of the established social networks, but it has much in common with some of the upstarts. Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn’t demand your real name — you can use anything you like as your Twitter handle. You can then engage publicly with other people about topics of interest or set your Twitter account to private and have your tweets visible only to your friends, although most Twitter usage is public. You don’t even have to send your own tweets — you can follow other accounts and just view them.”

As with everything in technology, what’s cutting edge today is inevitably going to be old news tomorrow. With this in mind, its no surprise that Facebook is losing its momentum. I wonder if they, like Twitter, will find new ways to stay relevant.

Jasmine Ashton, September 16, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Beyond Search

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