Twoolr: Has TweetStats finally got some competition?

Please note that this blog is still being expanded on. When a completed version is published we will inform you! Feel free to read the run-down so far and get your Twoolr account but be aware that not every feature has been covered.

Yesterday, I was checking my TweetStats as I do most days just to keep up on what was going on, how well I am doing and just to make sure my addiction to Twitter had not died. I have always liked TweetStats as it is quick, convenient, aesthetically pleasing and intuitive! Until now I have not found anything that remotely compares. All other sites either do not have as much data and detail in the statistics; do not have nice, easy to understand graphs; and do not cover as many stats as TweetStats does.

The new player is called Twoolr. I managed to get access to the private beta and here is my review (if you want your access to the private beta read to the end of this blog).

Twoolr requires that you login with oauth whereas TweetStats allows you to just type your username in. Each has their induvidual advantages. By just being able to type any user name it saves time and cuts out the need to login; it means you can check the stats for other people; and it means you can access your stats anywhere (even where twitter is blocked). However, using oAuth gains the advantages of being able to access private data that TweetStats cannot.

First use of Twoolr (understandably) takes some time to start loading tweets. This is common with statistical sites as they need to crawl back through your tweets to gather as much data as possible. Unfortunately sites are limited to only being able to find a maximum of 3200 tweets thanks to the Twitter API Limits. This is a bit annoying for me as I have almost 10 times this limit in tweets; when I sign up for a new service like this, I would love for it to go all the way back. Since it does not do this my stats only cover a few days and I cannot explore all the features.

Image showing a progress bar that you are presented with when you first Login

The wait at First Time Login

Once Twoolr has loaded your stats, you are presented with a page where you have 2 choices for types of statistics as well as some basic stats at the top. The two options keep the statistics organised and will be more useful as the site expands to cover more statistics. It does however mean that the site is more complicated and quickly accessing all your stats can be more difficult. One of the nice features of TweetStats is that all you statistical charts about you tweets are on one page; you can view everything all at the same time.

Homepage after logged-in

You are given to areas of stats with some quick stats at the top!

The quick stats that you get on the homepage of Twoolr. Has statistics about Tweets, Tweets/Day, Tweets/Month, Friends, Followers and your Friend/Follower Ratio.

The quick stats that you get on the homepage of Twoolr. Has statistics about Tweets, Tweets/Day, Tweets/Month, Friends, Followers and your Friend/Follower Ratio.

Before going any deeper into the site, let’s see what we get with those quick stats. On the left you get stats about how many tweets you have and how often you tweet. This is based off of the number of tweets you have and the time since the date you registered to twitter so is an all-time average. For me these are statistics that I like to see. Although TweetStats do show the same statistical information, you have to wait 8 hour before you can update it, whereas on Twoolr, I have noticed that the statistic are update instantly which is a nice feature (as long as it is not wasting API calls on every page load – if it is then there should be a certain amount of time that the information is cached for so that it does not steal API calls).

On the right hand side of this, you get stats about your friends (people you follow), followers and a friend to follow ratio. Friends and followers can both be viewed on you twitter page without going to Twoolr, but is nice to have that quick reference. The feature, I do like is the friend to follower ratio. Not many sites have this but this is important if you want to be a credible Twit; the higher the number the more credible you will be seen to be. This information also updates with the other information when you load the page!

To better utilise this information, I think Twoolr should introduce statistics with a day-by-day graphs to show Tweets per day (average), Tweets per month (average) and information about followers and friends. The Tweets per Day and per Month statistics would show a daily graph of how you have affected the value of each on that day. This is a feature I have not seen anywhere before and would be unique to Twoolr.

For the statistics for friends and followers, both of these could be put on the same graph using the left hand axis with the friend to follow ration overlaid using the right hand axis. This may be very complicated to achieve and might look messy but I think that would work well. Another graph I think would work well would be a scatter graph with values taken from each day after signing up with followers on one axis and friends on the other axis. This would allow people to view if there is a correlation between how many followers they have and how many people are following them.

In the usage statistics, there are 4 sections for statistics: Frequence, Repartition, Clouds and Clients Used. To view each of the sections they must be expanded. This (in my opinion) is a bit of a pain and unnecessary, however there is the show all option.

The Usage Statistics page

The Usage Statistics page

The first section, Frequence (probably better named Frequency), shows how much you have been tweeting recently. This is similar to the TweetStats view that you would get when zoomed into a specific month. I would like to check what the graph would look like zoomed out further but at the moment there are not enough statistics on me for this to be possible!

Chart showing my Tweets, ReTweets and Replies per day.

Chart showing my Tweets, ReTweets and Replies per day.

There are a few things that I particularly like about this graph that makes it better than the one found on TweetStats. The first point is that it breaks it down into Tweets, ReTweets and Replies so you can see a more precise picture of what sort of tweets you are sending. Secondly I prefer the interactive graph over the click to zoom funtion on TweetStats. The interactive chart means you can pick a very specific data range and also zoom in/out to see the data in a way that best suits your needs. One thing about this graph is that I cannot help but think of Google stats which use the same graphs. 😛

The next statistics are in the “Repartition” section (which would probably be better named “Distibution”). This section has 4 sub-sections and shows the accumulation of all tweets logged at different times (hours of the day, days of the week, weeks of the year and months of the year). I find these sorts of statistics helpful when you want to analyse when you tweet in general rather than in a specific space of time.

Graph showing the number of tweets sent at each hour of the day

Tweets sent at hours of the day

Above is the graph showing how many tweets you have sent in all the time that twoolr has been logging at each hour of the day. This graph is available on TweetStats as a bar graph (which I feel is more appropriate) but it does not have as much detail. Like other graphs, this graph is spilt into Tweets, RTs and Replies. Similar data is shown for the days of the week, weeks of the year and months of the year.

Graph showing tweets made on Months of the Year

Months of the Year

Graph showing tweets made on Weeks of the Year

Weeks of the Year

Graph showing tweets made on Months of the Year

Months of the Year

Unfortunately, despite the fact you are given lots of statistics as shown above there is no way to find out exactly how many tweets you sent in a specific Week, Month or Year. TweetStats’ main graph shows how many tweets are sent in a specific month which can be zoomed into to see a specific day. Twoolr currently only provide tweets on specific days (in their Frequence section). In the Frequence section I feel that (like in the Repartition section) there could be choices at the top for Day, Week, Month and Year.

The next section of this page is the Clouds section. Clouds are a service that many websites offer so it was interesting to see how Twoolr would use these. Most sites build a cloud then display it to you and that’s it; Twoolr however continues to build on that customisability of data so that you can find exactly what you want.

An example of a Term Cloud

A Term Cloud (Also includes Hashtags and Replies)

Bellow the Cloud type option and above the actual cloud you will notice a bar with two sliders on it. You can adjust those sliders accordingly to set the number of occurrence of the words in the cloud; for example, above it is set to “50-100” so any terms in the cloud will have been mentioned between 50 and 100 times in your stream. This helps you quickly adjust your cloud to get the terms you want. For example, by lowing the limit you get rid of commonly used words like “a” “the” or in my case “:)” (clearly because I am such a happy person :P). By increasing the minimum, you get rid of a lot of words that have been used just once. To properly analyse the cloud, you must adjust these to your needs otherwise you are shown too many results. Here is an example with a slightly wider range (10-1237):

An example of a large Term Cloud

A large Term Cloud (Also includes Hashtags and Replies)

The reason I went with 10 as the base for the query is that if you go any lower the cloud can get ridiculously big! As mentioned you also get your “Hashtag Cloud” and “Reply Cloud” which are pretty self explanatory. The Hashtag cloud shows you most used hashtags and the reply cloud show who you mention most (rather than just who you reply to).

An example of a Hashtag Cloud

A Hashtag Cloud

An example of a Reply Cloud

A Reply Cloud

One great feature about the Clouds on Twoolr is that once you find an interesting item in the cloud, you can then click on it and get a cloud generated for tweets which contain that term, hashtag or reply. This is a great feature for going into deep analysis of your tweets. If I were to use this I would use it for analysing the tweets (and getting a cloud) for my tweets that mention a specific user to see what sort of terms you use when communicating with them.

The last thing in the Usage Statistics are the “Clients Used” stats; this is a fairly basic stats that is also found on TweetStats. This pie chart simply shows which clients you use for interacting with twitter and what proportion of you overall tweets they consume. On TweetStats this is displayed in a bar graph but I think that a pie chart is more appropriate. One thing I would like is the ability to find out an exact figure for the number of tweets sent with each. Currently you can hover over a segment and get the percentage that it takes up but not an exact value (on TweetStats it is the opposite); it would be nice to be able to see both!

A pie chart showing which clients I use most

Clients Used

Although I have mentioned various times about RTs being shown, Twoolr, shares a common bug with TweetStats; it only classifies old style RTs as a ReTweet and does not include the new-style RTs which is a bit annoying but will be fixed soon enough, I hope. Another issue where RTs and Replies are shown separated is the Tweets statistic; in my opinion the Tweets statistic should not include replies and RTs if they are separately accounted for but they appear to do so.

You may have notice that through this rundown of Twoolr, some of the terminology on the site is not in perfect English. This is because the site is designed by a French man but I am sure that with time and user feedback these minor issues will be ironed out. This does not impact the user as they can fully understand what is being written about.

Another bug that is consistent through out the site is that whenever a username that has numbers in it is used, that stats will show the username only up to the point where the numbers begin. For example, “@person123” would be displayed as “@person”. This can cause some confusion and should be fixed.

Overall, I feel that although TweetStats is more feature rich at the moment and that I do preffer it, that since Twoolr is still in Beta that there is a long way to come and that when Twoolr goes public that it will be an overall better website to be able to privately check your statistics on but for sharing purposes, TweetStats wins as it requires no authentication to view stats.

I have been generously given 30 tokens (invites) to give to 30 of my readers! If you want access what you have to do is quite simple:

  1. Ensure you are following me, @flungo, on twitter (it will not work unless you are and you should be following me anyway).
  2. Follow this link
  3. Click “Sign In”
  4. Check out Twoolr 🙂

It is that simple! If you have any problems or comments please leave them bellow. If you have any recommendations or feature requests also leave them bellow and I can pass them on! Let me know what you think of the site!

I will update this blog as i discover new things or changes take place so watch this space.

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