UPDATE: Twitter Confirms It's Experimenting With an Analytics Tool for Regular Users

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
June 12 2013 7:41 PM

UPDATE: Twitter Confirms It's Experimenting With an Analytics Tool for Regular Users

Twitter appears to be rolling out a new analytics tool for regular users, not just its professional customers.
Twitter appears to be rolling out a new analytics tool for regular users, not just its professional customers.

Screenshot / Twitter

Twitter has allowed website owners to track their traffic from the site since 2011. Unless there’s been some mistake, it now appears to be opening up a similar feature to all users.

Will Oremus Will Oremus

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

Twitter user @bdconf noticed yesterday that logging into analytics.twitter.com brings up a page designed to help you get started advertising on the site. From there, clicking “analytics” in the top menu bar allows you to view things like where your followers are located, who else they tend to follow, and how many people clicked on each of your recent tweets.

Advertisement

Checking on my own analytics, I was surprised to find that 69 percent of my followers were male; that I have more followers in London and Paris than in U.S. cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, or Boston; and that my most-clicked tweet of the past two months was this one.

The tool doesn’t seem to be fully operational for everyone yet. Tech writer Alex Howard tweeted that he can view his timeline analytics but not the analysis of his followers. My colleague Forrest Wickman said all of his tweets come up as having zero clicks, even some that received more than 1,000 according to Bitly's tracking tools.

I’ve emailed Twitter for more information and will update when I hear back. Until then, you can try it yourself by visiting https://analytics.twitter.com, logging in, and clicking “analytics” on the top menu bar. The tool isn't perfect—it doesn't show you how many people actually saw each tweet, for one thing. Still, it’s a rare chance for the average user to get a glimpse at some of the types of tools that Web publishers have at their disposal, and reinforces the sense that your Twitter account is your own personal publishing platform. I hope it’s here to stay.

UPDATE, Thursday, June 13, 6:15 p.m.: A Twitter spokesman gave me the following brief statement:

We've been experimenting giving the analytics feature to small groups of users outside our advertising clients. We've been happy with the response thus far, and will determine next steps after the conclusion of these tests.

That doesn't clear things up very much, but it's all we've got for now.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 10:39 PM Avengers: Age of Ultron Looks Like a Fun, Sprawling, and Extremely Satisfying Sequel
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.