[qi:109] As we saw with the death of Michael Jackson and the Iranian election protests, statistics on tweets help to reveal how information spreads across the web. For many, Trendrr has emerged as the digital tracking service of choice, lauded for its both its ability to procure stats and charts on Twitter trends and for its easy-to-use user interface. But while some may find Trendrr’s UI intuitive, compared with a lesser-known rival, Buenos Aires-based Trendistic, I’ve found it hard to navigate. And it can require far more clicks to get to the same stats.
Flaptor’s Trendistic, formerly known as Twist, tracks and charts the percentage of tweets that mention a certain search term over time. Its Google-like UI is easy to use and quickly offers up charts on Twitter topics over the last 24 hours or even the last six months. For me, a UI’s simplicity can make or break whether I use a web app. If that’s true for other people, going forward, the tide could turn towards Trendistic.
I decided to see how the two sites stacked up when tracking tweets about Sen. Ted Kennedy, the Democratic congressman who passed away earlier this week. When I logged onto Trendrr, I entered “Ted Kennedy” and “Twitter” into the search box, and results turned up two empty data graphs that were supposed to measure the number of times the senator’s name was posted on Twitter per hour and per day. It wasn’t until I searched for simply “Ted Kennedy” and clicked to the second page of results that I was able to find relevant graphs. Even then, I struggled to read the graph that tracked the number of posts per day mentioning the politician.
But when I typed Kennedy’s name into Trendistic’s search box, a graph popped up a second later that showed the percentage of tweets that mentioned the senator over the last seven days. To view graphs that tracked tweets about him over the last 24 hours, three months or six months, I only needed to click on the tabs at the top of the page. And when I hovered over different points on the graph, it displayed the percentage of tweets that mentioned Sen. Kennedy by the hour, which according to the apex of the graph, stood at about 2.5 percent as of Wednesday at 11 p.m. PDT.
Trendistic works with any mobile browser and, just like Trendrr, its charts are embeddable. It also gives you the option to receive email notifications when a topic becomes a Twitter trend. If users find Trendistic’s UI as simple and easy to use as I do, as the number of visitors on Twitter swells, it could move to the forefront as the go-to web site for tracking Twitter trends.