By Angie Argabrite, Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 9:01 am.
Is there anyone, marketer or not, who still thinks that Twitter is just a repository for boring one-liners about what we ate for breakfast? Now, research supports the notion that Twitter can tell us significantly more about people than their breakfast food preferences. In the U.K., scientists found clues in millions of tweets posted before widespread riots broke out in England in the summer of 2011 to indicate an angry and fearful public, while months earlier, days before the Royal Wedding, they found a notably palliated public. An environmental group in the U.S. took to Twitter to track sentiment about rising gas prices. A 2010 study even found that the collective Twitter mood can predict swings on the Dow Jones Industrial Average with 87 percent accuracy. Though there’s still speculation on how to use this information, it’s clear that social media has the power to yield real insight into the public. The CIA is certainly doing its best to put the data to use: It reportedly runs a social media tracking center in Virginia that teases out information from Facebook posts, tweets and online chats to make guesses about the moods of regions or groups abroad. And after a Taiwanese woman killed herself by asphyxiation while using Facebook, the social media kingpin admitted it’s a “mirror for what’s going on in the real world” and vowed to provide help for those who use the site to announce suicidal thoughts. Because what good is it to hold up a mirror to the real world only to watch it shatter?
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2012 at 9:01 am. It is filed under Brainsnacks, Social Media, Trends and tagged with anger, Bristol University, CIA, Cornell University, Dow Jones Industrial Average, Facebook mood monitoring, Facebook suicide, London, London riots, moods, public anger, public mood, riots, royal wedding, Social Media, Taiwan, Twitter. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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