PageRank For Twitter Launches - For a Fee

Adam DuVander
Apr. 27 2010, 11:35AM EDT

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.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

Comments

Comments(20)

JOSH

Looks like there's some old(ish) data on the site. Two of the accounts I just checked are showing a 6-week old follow/follower count, and the other account I checked, which has been very active since October 2008, isn't in their database.

jacob

@josh

- Unless you're very rapidly gaining or losing followers you're Trst.me rank should only change slightly when the database is updated. As far as missing information we're doing the best we can at Infochimps. Follow us on twitter @infochimps and you'll certainly know when we update the database.

--jacob

Trst.me has a pure ranking approach and will rely heavily on third party developers, while competitor Klout is more of a destination site on its own. But what can I do with their rankings? Is there a significant higher user value in their rankings than in the follow-follower ratio?

jacob

@benoitfallenius

- Trst.me can be considered a measure of reputation or influence. Follow-follower ratio is a measure of popularity. At times they overlap (ie. celebrities) but often they do not. Trst.me provides a means to pick out influencers when the pool of users considered all have similar follow-followers ratios. Also, like pagerank, Trst.me is more difficult to manipulate by those who cultivate spam followers.

--jacob