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11/18/2010
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Twitter Testing Analytics Tool

Microblogging site expected to allow users to track the most successful tweets, the most influential followers, and which tweets caused people to unfollow them.

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Twitter is testing a new analytics product, according to a report by Mashable.

Earlier this year, several published reports indicated Twitter was working on an analytics tool. And the company's blog tended to support those rumors.

"Our analytics, operations, and infrastructure teams are working on a system that uses Cassandra for large-scale real time analytics for use both internally and externally," Ryan King, a Twitter engineer, wrote in a July 9 blog.

The microblogging site's newest tool is expected to allow users to view information about their accounts, such as the most successful tweets, the most influential followers, and which tweets caused people to unfollow them, the article said. In addition, users will be able to filter tweets by category using the tool, which is expected to be free, according to the report.

Several third-party companies, such as Twittalyzer, Tweetstats, and TweetEffect, offer analytics and trending services.

In June, Twitter acquired Smallthought Systems, a website analytics team. The Smallthought staff joined Twitter's analytics team, and worked on integrating Smallthought's Trendly technology into the site's current tools.

In related news, Twitter partnered with social data provider Gnip to offer up to half of the Twitter firehose of tweets for sale. However, businesses buying these tweets are unable to display or resell them. Rather, the tweets are solely for analysis, according to Twitter and Gnip.

"There's enormous corporate demand for better monitoring and analytics tools, which help companies listen to their customers on Twitter and understand conversations about their brands and products," said Jud Valeski, CEO of Gnip. "This partnership opens the door to developers who want to use Twitter streams to create monitoring and analytics tools for the non-display market."

In its first wave of offerings, the partnership provides Twitter Halfhose, a volume-based feed of half the full firehose; Twitter Mentionhose, a coverage-based feed that provides a real-time stream of all tweets -- including replies and retweets -- that mention a user; and Twitter Decahose, a volume-based product of 10% of the full firehose.

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