Twitter trends

posted by Jason Kottke Oct 24, 2008

Twitter is fast becoming the real-time zeitgeist of the web hive mind. (Sorry, I don't know what that means either.) Anyway, I've been playing around with Twist, which tracks trends on Twitter and graphs the results. Two of the most interesting trends I've found are:

drunk, hangover - The drunk talk spikes on Friday and Saturday nights, followed by hangover talk on the following mornings. There's a similar correlation on Facebook.

monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday, sunday - This one is really interesting. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday get many more mentions than the three other days of the week, which shows the importance of the weekend in contemporary society. Wednesday is the low point, which turns the graph into a representation of hump day, only inverted.

Any other interesting trends that you've noticed?

Update: My wife reminds me that Plodt is tracking explicit Twitter trends...you can create personal or collective graphs by assigning values to words like so: *mood 8* or *weather 5*. Here's a good example of a collective poll about how the candidates did during the debate at Hofstra.

Reader comments

JohnG.Oct 24, 2008 at 3:39PM

there's a perfect correlation in (sex, drunk).

ConorOct 24, 2008 at 3:46PM

It looks like you can only look back a month, whereas facebook lets you go back a whole year. The biggest spike of the year for "hungover" is of course on New Years Day. Look for tweets with "slutty" to increase to their apex one week from today. I posted some more: here

shamusOct 24, 2008 at 3:47PM

what no one discusses is the incredibly small sample of people actually using twitter. I'm on the more tech saavy end of the spectrum in my little world, and most people i know have never even heard of twitter. Twitter seems to me like a small group asserting themselves as a big group. And tweet analysis strikes me first and foremost, as irrelevant.

...of course people talk about being drunk on friday night.

Taco JohnOct 24, 2008 at 3:48PM

(breakfast,lunch,dinner) is an interesting one. People always tweet more about dinner. But during the week, they tweet about lunch as much as dinner, and during the weekend they tweet about lunch less but tweet about breakfast as often.

bobOct 24, 2008 at 3:55PM

People talk about getting drunk on Friday and Saturday nights? wow, that IS interesting.

JayCruzOct 24, 2008 at 3:55PM

SNL on Saturdays of course and how unfunny people find it. It annoys me and makes me curios to what they actually find humorous.

MarkOct 24, 2008 at 3:56PM

Looks like soup took over ice cream as the seasons have changed.

MKDOct 24, 2008 at 3:56PM

mccain,obama for last month - debate spikes. for last week, they fairly well match, with a nice curvy daily shape.

jenniOct 24, 2008 at 3:58PM

"cool" is hotter than "hot"

GlennOct 24, 2008 at 4:01PM

It appears that more people are watching -- or at least tweeting -- about TV than books. Good to know the Twitter-using community is not so different from America in their preferred past times.

GarrettOct 24, 2008 at 4:01PM

Interesting correlations in frequency/timing to be found in pooping and peeing.

Dustin AskinsOct 24, 2008 at 4:17PM

Anytime I have a creative idea or make an observation and wonder, "could I be the only one who has thought of that?" 90% of the time a Twitter search reveals that I am not. I love the stream of consciousness that is the Twitter.

Dale Cruse Oct 24, 2008 at 4:19PM

On Oct. 23, one of the top trends was #TTL, for TwitterTasteLive.com. It's a site where we taste wine and compare notes on Twitter. We hung out with winemaker Jed Steele. If you join the site, mention my name in the "How did you find out about TTL?" field.

Winston SmithOct 24, 2008 at 4:21PM

Twitter itself is more popular than sex.

Dylan BennettOct 24, 2008 at 4:22PM

Love vs. hate. Love is on the uptrend and much higher than hate. Good for us.

GuyOct 24, 2008 at 4:22PM

Only 4:30 on a Friday afternoon and their are already 204 drunks. Must be college kids. Damn kids! Flibbidy flube.

Matt AdamsOct 24, 2008 at 4:41PM

East Coast vs West Coast. About even, actually...no bias there.

MargaretOct 24, 2008 at 4:46PM

Bored vs. Busy reveals that boredom strikes on the weekends.

RoccoOct 24, 2008 at 4:57PM

Do Death vs. Taxes. Despite the upcoming election and the dire financial state of the world, people seem to talk about death about twice as much as taxes.

YolandaOct 24, 2008 at 6:07PM

A lovely dance is done between football and church. Looks like church wins.

AndyOct 24, 2008 at 7:20PM

Unsuprisingly, people start saying sorry after midnight, 'sorry' & 'drunk' also show a recognisable correlation.

Theo DuBoseOct 24, 2008 at 7:38PM

Transportation: Bus/Train have an inverse relationship with Car: here

BaudouinOct 25, 2008 at 8:52AM

Unsurprisingly, coffee and meeting are corellated.

ChrisOct 25, 2008 at 6:44PM

meeting and fun

TJ SondermannOct 26, 2008 at 11:30AM

For those new to Twitter or outside the core group of users, I've been attempting to provide some context and/or additional information for the top trending terms on Twitter:

Connect the Tweets

James BridleOct 27, 2008 at 6:05AM

There's a whole bunch of fun analytic tools for Twitter. I think Twitter Spectrums gives a wider image of what's actually being discussed, and I used a bunch in my analysis of 'Win' and 'Fail'.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.