We’re starting to get a better idea of what Twitter has been up to since it started restricting access to its Firehose. Thanks to a tip, TheNextWeb reports that the social network has launched its own in-app analytics platform, which is open to everyone.
With plenty of third-party Twitter services out there that ably keep track of tweets, retweets, and even sentiment, you have to wonder why the social network has bothered to make its foray into serving its own analytics services after seven years of operation – a long time in tech years.
The answer is obvious. Ultimately it’s about the B2B revenue that the company could generate from brands that might be looking for a robust, in-house analytics service. Twitter has a few things on its side over these third party systems as well – namely that it has unrestricted access to its own data, all of it – not just the most recent 3,200 tweets that Twitter limits third party applications to getting ahold of.
Now that anyone with a Twitter account can open up Twitter’s free analytics, you can find it by navigating to ads.twitter.com. Sign into your account and you’ll be taken to the Advertising Dashboard. Once that’s done, click on the “Analytics” tab within the navigation bar at the top of the page, and click on “Timeline Activity” in the dropdown menu. You’ll be greeted by a bar graph of mentions, follows, and unfollows, above metrics on your recent tweets.
Twitter’s analytics gives you a good run down of what’s happening on your profile, including stats on the number of favorites, retweets, and replies each of your tweets have received.
While a handful of the third party options are seeing their services replicated, there are a few that offer some extra bells and whistles Twitter’s own analytics service doesn’t. The ability to track competitors, keywords, and hashtags isn’t available with Twitter’s service yet – although Twitonomy, an outside option, does.
However one particular feature that might get you interested in Twitter’s new service is that you can actually check out how many other people have clicked on the embedded link in a tweet. And the app will tell you if you’ve had a particularly popular tweet that’s performed far better than anything you’ve tweeted before. That will show up as a tag that looks like, “[number] x Normal Reach.”
If you go back to the “Analytics” tab and click on “Followers,” you’ll see a brief look at what your follower demographic looks like, based on interest, location, and gender, while the growth of your followers count plotted on a line graph. There’s definitely plenty to explore in the new – and free – option, so competitors should be a little worried at Twitter’s latest feature launch.