Saturday, January 12, 2013

Do twitter trends influence curiosity in a topic?

Twitter has a unique feature - It always leads you to wiki page, blog or a news link. Twitter trends lead you to search about a topic and thus actually lead to a greater search traffic. I look at the cases of two people to verify this effect.

Rahul Dravid was trending on twitter. People were wishing him "happy birthday". Although I don't really nderstand the use of doing so, people still wished him. This trend was correlated with search traffic of  Rahul Dravid. Same was the case with Arnab Goswami who was trending on twitter. His search volume was very high.

Blue line represents recent interest in topic measured by search volume in last 7 days, whereas the red line represents an average interest in the topic during the last three months
One possible reason for this can be the increasing curiosity due to a trending topic. Rahul Dravid's birthday is comparatively a more trivial issue, which leads to a lower rise in curiosity (see figure above). Arnab Goswami who is less popular than Rahul Dravid induced a greater curiosity and lead to a far greater level of search volume. 

This trend also implies how twitter can be a far greater consumer of time than other social networks such as Facebook. It gives trends to explore and the story does not end there. After searching for a trending topic, it is highly likely that you'd have an opinion about it, which of course you'll tweet about. And the story would not again end there. You'll have followers who might agree or disagree and might reply about it. The conversation is just beginning...

It becomes a vicious cycle. What starts as a curiosity in a trending topic actually ends up using quite a bit of time. While Facebook seemed initially seemed like a big time consumer, it seems like diet coke now.