Topsy tailors tool to tease out Twitter trends to a 'T'

With Twitter's blessing, Topsy launches a new product that turns tweets into a bigger-picture view specifically for marketers and trend watchers.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
2 min read

Topsy, a real-time search engine that draws on Twitter's huge stream of information, today launched a new tool for businesses.

Aimed at marketers and journalists, Topsy Pro Analytics is a beefed-up version of Topsy's free service, which lets you search for Twitter's most popular tweets.

While other developers are slamming Twitter for its recent API shakedown, Topsy and Twitter have never been tighter. Topsy's analytics tools lets companies use tweets to identify trends or gauge how consumers feel about products and brands.

One of the companies to get a thumbs-up in Twitter's announcement last week on increased restrictions on developers, Topsy recently renewed its licensing with Twitter with an expanded agreement. The agreement lets the two companies partner on projects like the Twitter's political index. That index showcases how voters feel about the presidential candidates in a real-time way that can offer similar results to polling but faster.

Topsy's professional version offers a more thorough breakdown for companies that want to use it to improve its social media standing, Topsy vice president of product Jamie de Guerre said. Users can see the historical context of a topic or brand and identify the most influential tweeters and tweets. Some of the companies already testing it out include sparks & honey and The Washington Post.

The tool can index tweets by various time frames -- from within the last year all the way down to the last hour and several periods in between. The tool can also set a specific date range. In addition to time frame, users can analyze the topics by geography, how high its exposure was among tweeters, and what sentiment was attached to the topic.

For example, if Topsy Pro were to track the hashtag #nascar, it could show when the hashtag's mentions spiked and which tweets were driving the spike at the time. Additionally, Topsy Pro could display if there were negative or positive comments attached to Nascar in tweets.

Businesses can also use this to track their brand or a competitor's brand. When de Guerre demonstrated the tool for General Motors, the company saw that its brand had 35 million impressions in a 90-day period. It looked like an impressive amount until Topsy Pro pulled up competitor Ford's brand impressions, which had seven times the exposure.

Companies can use these stats to figure out how close the gap on their social media presence, de Guerre said.

A Topsy rep said the company will charge a flat monthly fee for subscriptions to the service. Topsy isn't releasing prices because they will depend on a customer's size and data requests, the rep said. There is a 30-day free trial.

Updated at 10:10 a.m PT with pricing information.