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Predict Twitter Popularity

Don’t lie every time you tweet you hope that your 140 characters tweet will blow up, and you patiently wait staring at your phone to see how many favorites and retweets you will get. Researchers have developed a model that they claim can predict how popular a tweet will be. This unique formula does not involve looking at the content of the tweet at all, but actually focuses on the behavior of people and retweets on Twitter. One of the creators, Tauhid Zaman, stated, “I can’t tell you what kind of tweet is going to be big, but I can tell you the minutes of which one [tweet] is going to be big.” Zaman and the other two creators came up with a model that they have nicknamed “Twouija”, which is a play on words between Twitter and an Ouija board (game where your future is predicted). Through analyzing data on Twitter researchers found that the number of retweets between a popular Twitter user and a common Twitter user work the same way. They found that during the first 10 minutes after a tweet both users had about 50% of the retweets that they will have in total. For example, if a popular tweeter receives 100 retweets in 10 minutes overall it would end up with around 200 retweets, and a less popular tweeter who received 3 retweets in 10 minutes will end up with 6 retweets in the long run. What does this mean? Zaman explained, “You can actually build a system that ranks your content on your timeline based upon these two metrics of eventual popularity… and how old it (a tweet) is right now.”