New Tool: Twitter Trends Analysis

Ian Lurie Jun 1 2009

I’m a hypocrite. Yes, a year ago I heaped scorn on the idea of me writing about Twitter.
Now, I’ve not only written about it, but I just spent 3 days building a tool that analyzes trending topics.
Check it out at

How HighTweets works

Every 5 minutes, HighTweets grabs the latest trending topics from the Twitter Search API and stores the result in a database.

Twitter’s ‘trending topics’ list shows you the hottest topics on the service. Since there are umpteen bazillion people using Twitter now, it’s not a bad measure of what’s going on in the online world.

Then HighTweets pulls all of the data together and shows:

  • Mass: Topics ranked by the number of times they’ve repeated on the trending topics list. Mass tells you which topics have staying power.
  • Velocity: The number of times per 5 minute period that a topic has shown up on the trending topics list. Velocity tells you which topics are on the rise.

The results look like this:

It’s free, no registration required, etc.

Unless Guy Kawasaki shows up and offers me a million dollars (OK, I’d take $10,000 and an autograph) this tool will remain free and open to the world. Enjoy.


The domain just propagated. If you get the nasty Network Solutions parking page, wait a few hours and you should see the site.
I built this over the weekend. THE WEEKEND. I am a geek. But that may mean I finished one line of code, went for a bike ride, then wrote another one. If the site explodes when you visit it, please let me know so I can fix it.
I’ll be adding date range selection later.
Same goes for graphs of activity around a topic.
If hitting Twitter’s search API every 5 minutes doesn’t get me in trouble or kill our database server, I’ll likely speed up to every minute. But for now, I’m staying at 5.
Yes, I know that the site’s title shows up as “Twitter Trends Anal…” in Firefox tabbed browsing. You’re not the only sicko here. It was an accident. I’m not changing it.
No, I will not start referring to Twitter users as “Tweeple”. I can’t do it. I’m sorry.
Have a look, enjoy, and let me know what you think:
[ Twitter Trends Analysis ]

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  1. DK


    By velocity? That is pretty nerdy! I like it.

  2. Hi Ian,
    Looks like a useful page. Thanks for putting it together.
    Its always good to find Trends pages. Its what people are looking for. I like it.
    I must look at adding Twitter trends into my Hot Keyword Software. I think its good to know things that matter to people at the time they matter.

  3. diane


    As someone who spent an inordinate amount of time this past weekend reading #Britain’s Got Talent tweets…I say, “Bravo!” ;)

  4. Really interesting stuff. I also like how this is organized as compared to some of the busier options for this kind of research that I have seen. Thanks!

  5. Ian,
    This is really great. Thanks for building this over a weekend! It’s a great way to stay on top of the latest news, and it didn’t cause my computer to explode!
    Thanks again,

  6. Nice tool and believe me.. databases are often a problem for (Twitter) Mashups. Really annoying. ;)

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