December 12, 2014

New Feature: User Insights

James Neufeld by James Neufeld

During breaking news or fast moving events it’s hard to know who to trust on social networks. Almost everyone these days has learned the power of social media and is using for their agenda. Whether that agenda is simply updating friends or followers as an innocent eye witness, or rebel fighters with a cause or perhaps, in some cases, social media users with a malicious agenda (or an association to one). This is a big challenge for modern newsrooms and a tough one to solve. Still, above all algorithms, solid journalism is the best bet in determining the background of someone on social media, their agenda and credibly.

Today, we’re announcing a new SAM feature to aid this exact process; determining the agenda, credibility and background of someone on social media. In speaking, observing and working with our users closely, there are certain baseline checks that almost every journalist does instinctually – which is to take a quick peek at the user/uploader’s profile to get a sense of who that person is and what their history looks like. Now, User Insights in SAM will do that for you.

When clicking on a search result in SAM, User Insights will spin up in the background analyzing that user’s history. This history is visualized in 3 helpful insights.

1. Post frequency will show you how frequently the user is posting content over the last 7 days. This can be helpful to gauge how active the user is, if it’s a brand new account without any history or if it has erratic upload patterns (which can be very helpful to determine if an account is a bot).

2. Common terms will show you the user’s most commonly used terms and sort them from most used to the least. This is designed to get a quick snapshot of what the user frequently talks about and can also help in determining sentiment, language and tone of the user.

3. Mentions, just like Terms, shows who the users mentions the most. In this example, you can see that Barack Obama mentions @OFA and the @Whitehouse the most. Mentions in combination with Terms can be extremely helpful in determining who they talk about and in what tone.

We’ve also added some enhancements to the search results to better show location (when available) and, as we always do, link back to the original source. Hover over the time stamp or location icon to see the new details tooltip.tooltip

All of these features are live in SAM today! We hope you like them.

Happy Curating,
-Team SAM