Social media can be used to detect changes in public mood. Researchers at the university of Bristol's Intelligent Systems Laboratory established that Twitter can be used to detect prevailing public feeling. The researchers detected various changes in the mood of UK twitter users by analyzing their tweets. According to the researchers, the announcement of spending cuts and last summer's riots generated an increase in negative mood, anger and fear. However, a calming mood was observed during the royal wedding. Recently, University of California researchers also developed a software model that leverages data from twitter to make predictions on stock prices. The software tabulates the amount of tweets and their relatedness and uses them to predict prices.
The University of Bristol study was presented at the International Workshop on Social Media Applications in News and Entertainment held in Lyon, France. Social media allowed the scientists to collect large amounts of data generated by interactions amongst users. The study used a large sample of the UK population, with analysis undertaken using mood detection tools. The study focused on monitoring mood and changes. The researchers used around 484 million tweets from 9.8 million users in the UK.
The study was conducted between July 2009 and January 2012. The negative and positive mood changes were mostly influenced by the period's economic downturn, social tensions and popular events. From the research, particular patterns of behavior can be explained when social changes and events happen. A considerable increase in negative mood was generally preceded by an unpopular occurrence, such as the spending cuts. The run up to the royal wedding generally brought about a sense of positive feeling. Chicago based startup, Narrative Science, recently developed a computer program that automatically generates news stories from Tweets.