Thursday, September 22, 2011

Viralheat For Chrome Shows Twitter Sentiment

Viralheat has launched a great Chrome extension that analyzes the sentiment of every Tweet. There is a lot you can use this for:

  • You can go to a Twitterer's profile to measure if they are generally tweeting about happy or sad things. I am a pretty happy Tweeter with numbers of 71% positive, 9% negative, and 20% neutral.
  • Search for a word to see how that topic in trending. Facebook is getting around 75% positive right now during their f8 conference.
  • Reviewing hashtags allows you to drill down to a very specific term. #CERN has less than 45% of Tweets being positive; maybe because they seem to have proved Einstein wrong!

On every Tweet you will see an inline icon that says if it is positive, negative, or neutral and the percent of that sentiment. Along with the new information bar, that is collapsible, at the top of the page there are social buttons so that you can easily share interesting results. If you feel an individual result is incorrect you can click on the label in the Tweet and change it; they call this "Sentiment Training".

It is a very cool tool, but like any tool you need to ensure you understand how it is working to know you are getting accurate results. I found that because of Twitter's defaults some adjustments are needed to get truer information. Initially it only analyzes the first 20 visible Tweets. To get a larger data set I scroll down to get more "Total Tweets" to load. Twitter also defaults to give you the "Top" tweets for searches; changing that to "All" gives a more accurate reading. Doing those two things makes it more dependable.

Download it for Chrome and let us know what you think in the comments below.