Understand Your Social Impact with BackType

Ever wondered what impact your active presence on the Web has? For example, when you write a blog post or tweet about something, you may be interested in how many tweets your post receives and how many users can potentially reach your post. There are many ways to measure your social impact, however, to cover all social channels and platforms can be difficult to achieve. A Silicon Valley based company BackType builds an analytics platform that helps you understand your social impact at large.

BackType's Search Box

BackType's major goal is to give users a very comprehensive view of all social media. Today, it supports over one million sites and networks including Twitter and Facebook. When your app wants to get all the data that comes from Twitter, you can use the Twitter's Streaming API which is the subject to various limits. BackType, however, belongs among those few that have the unlimited access to the full Twitter firehose. It can access more than 50 million tweets a day coursing through Twitter.

BackType does not collect data from social networks only. It also crawls the Web for comments on blogs, social news sites and more. It currently supports over one million blogs powered by many different platforms including WordPress, Posterous, TypePad, FriendFeed, and Reddit. You can thus see all your comments mentioning your posts across different networks and with information integrated with major social data.

Michael Montano, the BackType's founder, tells us:

Thousands of people use BackType every day to measure engagement in social media. Our API use differs from day to day, but we consistently serve close to a billion API requests per month. Our API is used to power social features for more than 100 companies including the New York Times, WordPress, Posterous, Bit.ly, Chartbeat, The Hype Machine and more.

BackType is powered by infrastructure running on Amazon's EC2. It is running anywhere from 50 to 100 instances at any given time and it leverages many different tools and technologies including Hadoop, Clojure, MySQL, Cassandra, and Thrift. Moreover, BackType contributes to open source too. For example, BackType developed and maintain a project called Cascalog, a Clojure-based query language for Hadoop that you can use to write simple and expressive queries to explore massive data sets.

Tomas Vitvar