Can you predict good Tweets?

By now most folks have heard about using Tweets to try and predict things like fashion trends, disease, political change (ex. Arab Spring) and customer buying behavior. There’s been some pretty neat research on these topics. But what about trying to predict Tweets themselves?

A colleague named Adina recently sent me this article tweetybirdfrom the Sidney Morning Herald about two professors who’ve built a model to predict how often Tweets will get re-Tweeted. The algorithm doesn’t look at the content of the Tweet itself, instead it focuses on how Tweeters (i.e. people who Tweet) behave.

According to a related article, the MIT professor who co-authored the Tweet algorithm said “what happens in the first couple of minutes [following a Tweet] potentially informs you about what’s going to happen the rest of the day.”  You can see a bunch of these researchers’ predictions and results on their site Twouija. Sometimes the results were really good, other times they were off mark. Nevertheless it’s a provocative idea.

What does this mean for Tweeters? Apparently, it opens the possibility for not-so-famous people to start writing more popular Tweets. Ashton Kutcher beware!

Fascinating research to be sure, yet I keep thinking about it this way… in a sense this algorithm is predicting the popularity of Tweets… meanwhile Tweets themselves are being used by some to predict other things (ex. fashion, politics, consumer behavior). String it all together and you can easily end up with algorithms predicting algorithms.

Is this interesting? Definitely.

Is it fun? Possibly.

Is it Tweet-worthy?  I don’t know… you tell me.





This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Shubhansh

    Really an innovative idea, such ideas gets us focused towards the importance and fun of Big Data. And to be able to predict the tweet’s value, one can try to make the world more inclined towards the real issues in life by asking the most famous personalities to tweet in a desired manner.

  2. Kevin

    Old news for survey researchers.

  3. Shailendra

    Yes we have been Predicting Serviceable Tweets (tweets that can be acted upon ex “I lost my credit card” etc, using NLP and machine Learning from Millions of tweets being captured.

  4. Tony Sanchez

    I also think this update affected more than just EMD’s…I think Matt Cutt’s tweets only told half the story. Either that or there was another, different update at the same time.

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