How people talk about Apple on social media

Hint: It involves iPhones, iOS, Justin Bieber, and One Direction, according to a new study.

Apple's iPhone 5S
Apple's iPhone 5S Sarah Tew/CNET
For all the questions people have about the direction of Apple in a post-Steve Jobs world, folks are still talking about the company's products.

In a survey released on Thursday, the research firm Market Wired took a look at how people are talking about the company in blogs and on social media.

Some overall figures from the study: Over the past year, Apple was mentioned in over 560 million tweets, 7.5 million blog posts, 6.6 million online news articles, and 25.9 million forum posts. Outside of the United States, where 30 percent of the mentions originated, China made the most mentions, at almost 19 percent.

Market Wired, Screenshot/CNET
Not surprisingly, the most mentioned piece of hardware was the iPhone, while the most mentioned software product was iOS. The popularity of these terms was exacerbated in a year when Apple for the first time released two models of the phone in one day -- the 5S and 5C -- and widely released the most major iOS overhaul since the software was first introduced.

Another tidbit from the study is that women tend to talk more about Apple's hardware in online conversation, while men tend to talk more about software.

The study also confirmed some things we already knew about social media: If you want to be mentioned, glom onto teen idols. The most retweeted Apple-related tweets were from Justin Bieber and a member of One Direction mentioning their music on iTunes.

While not focusing specifically on competitors, the study points out that Android and Windows were mentioned a lot in the past year. That's a very salient point, considering the wide popularity of Android and hardware makers that build handsets for the operating system, like Samsung.

Another notable thing about the study: It makes no mention of sentiment analysis, so while we might get a sense of how many people are talking about Apple, and what products they are calling out, there's no indication as to whether they are saying positive or negative things about Apple's offerings -- which may be one of the most important distinctions of all.

 

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