300 Million Tweets Analyzed with Time-Lapse Visualization

At one time we all thought Twitter would just be another social networking site, never realising just how big it would become and the various ways in which it would be used. For example in politics, Twitter is now used to spread the word of political campaigns, and many businesses now use it for social media marketing purposes.

Now we’ve just heard of another use of Twitter and that is to gauge the mood of a nation. A fascinating article by Jolie O’Dell over on Mashable tells how researchers from Northeastern University and Harvard University have gathered data from 300 million tweets over 3 years. These were analysed against a word list along with data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Google Maps and more.

The result is a visualization which captures the pulse of America showing varying moods over time. It’s an amazing visual feast which tallies with how you might imagine moods of people vary throughout the day. For example there’s a lower mood in the middle of the day when many of us get that wilting feeling and also in the middle of the working week.

On the other hand moods are highest in the early morning and late evening. One strange anomaly appeared though. Apparently moods on the West Coast are higher than on the East Coast. There were still varying cycles of moods in the areas, but on the West Coast moods did not slump so low. For more on this and a fascinating video go to mashable.com. We wonder what tweets will be used for next? If you have any ideas let us have your comments.