There are many tools to analyze and rank Twitter users, but a new one takes a trick from Google's book. Trst.me uses an algorithm similar to Google's PageRank to give any Twitter user a score from one to 10 based on their followers' networks of followers.
Along with the the Trst.me site, there's also an API, so developers can integrate the score into their applications. But it'll cost you fifty bucks per month ($150 / quarter). Researchers and marketers can get a one-time snapshot of Trst.me ranks of all 50 million users the service tracks for $350.
The company behind Trst.me, Infochimps, is a data commons and marketplace. It was started by academics who see value in big datasets. When it first released Twitter data in November, founder Joseph Kelly wrote "we hope to send a signal that this data is valuable and useful to real-time search engines, Twitter apps, and social media researchers." In March the company posted bulk MySpace data for sale, sharing revenue with the social network.
There's another reason to use a PageRank-like algorithm (explained here by Trst.me) to rank Twitter users. Google now includes live tweets in some search results. How does it decide which to show? Some believe it uses an algorithm similar to PageRank. Unless Google makes public the score it uses, Trst.me will be a close approximation.
Along with the Trst.me data, Infochimps is releasing other datasets for sale, including stock extraction, hashtags and URLs. Additionally, the company is releasing some Histograms for free, such as the analysis of Twitter background colors shown in the graphic above.