Twitter Tracking Nightmare? Count ’em up with Topsy

By Justin Dorff (@Justin_Dorff)

At a recent client conference, SHIFT was tasked with tracking and counting every tweet that mentioned the client. In five days, we had amassed more than 5,000 tweets.

So, how do you count over five thousand tweets in five days?

First, we tried manually counting the tweets;  but, after our browsers were freezing and heads were spinning we decided there had to be an easier way.  A Web search provided a handful of tools to do the job but they all had their limitations.  Some required payment and others only provided results for a limited number of tweets – not that helpful.  But, after doing more digging, we found the perfect solution in Topsy, “a search engine powered by tweets.”

What we like:

The layout of Topsy is very simple and user friendly.  In fact, the overall design of the site resembles the Google home page.  To start, you simply select “Tweets” at the top of the page, type your search term in the toolbar and hit search.

And voila!  Topsy provides the results of all recent tweets with your search term as well as the total number of tweets from the past month, week, day and hour.

What we don’t like:

Like other free third-party Twitter applications, Topsy can be a bit buggy. For example, during the beginning of the week we were getting different results for the same search.  However, after some frustration we realized that this problem went away if we started each search from the Topsy homepage rather than the results page.

Fortunately, Topsy also maintains a blog that provides updates regarding its status.

The Verdict

I would highly recommend Topsy to anyone who is tasked with quantifying a large amount of tweets.  Topsy is the only free service we were able to find that tallies this information, saving time and money.

Overall Rating: I’d give Topsy 4.5/5 Slices

1 Response to “Twitter Tracking Nightmare? Count ’em up with Topsy”


  1. 1 Kimberly April 14, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Counting and measuring tweets can be a real chore. Sounds like Topsy takes some of the headache away, which is always appreciated 🙂


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