As the US election season heats up, Twitter has unveiled its own analytical tool: the Twitter Political Index.
New index determines enthusiasm levels for President Obama and Mitt Romney based on an average 2 million tweets a week that mention the candidates.
The resulting number describes this comparison, so that 34 next to Obama’s name means that tweets mentioning his name or Twitter handle were more positive on average than 34 percent of the sum of all tweets.
That doesn’t reflect particularly well on either candidate right now, but a Topsy Labs comparison of Obama’s index numbers with Gallup polls shows a rough correlation between the two.
The Index was built by Twitter in conjunction with Topsy’s data management team and two major opinion polling firms; it’s meant to supplement traditional polling by providing more nuanced data.
One thing that’s not mentioned in Twitter’s explanation is whether the Index takes into account the number of tweets per candidate.
While the page shows us how many followers Romney and Obama have, it’s not clear whether a small number of positive tweets would produce a higher score than a much larger group of mixed ones, potentially giving a skewed view of one candidate’s popularity.
The Twitter Political Index — Twitter calls it the Twindex for short — is a new attempt to make sense of the babel of commentary, observation, sarcasm, retweeting, calls to action and linkage that make up the Twitterverse.
Alan Whitehead is a business journalist based in Los Angeles, California. Alan has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Alan spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.