David Kirkpatrick

September 29, 2010

Data mining Twitter

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:11 pm

A report from inside the Twitterverse.

From the link:

Twitter messages might be limited to 140 characters each, but all those characters can add up. In fact, they add up to 12 terabytes of data every day.

“That would translate to four petabytes a year, if we weren’t growing,” said Kevin Weil, Twitter’s analytics lead, speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York. Weil estimated that users would generate 450 gigabytes during his talk. “You guys generate a lot of data.”

This wealth of information seems overwhelming but Twitter believes it contains a lot of insights that could be useful to it as a business. For example, Weil said the company tracks when users shift from posting infrequently to becoming regular participants, and looks for features that might have influenced the change. The company has also determined that users who access the service from mobile devices typically become much more engaged with the site. Weil noted that this supports the push to offer Twitter applications for Android phones, iPhones, Blackberries, and iPads. And Weil said Twitter will be watching closely to see if the new design of its website increases engagement as much as the company hopes it will.

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