The Tech That Got People Talking on Twitter in 2010

By  |  Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 10:30 am

Topsy is a search engine whose results are determined the pages people are talking about and linking to on Twitter. The more a page gets mentioned–especially by influential Twitter users–the higher it’s likely to show up in Topsy’s results. It’s an interesting approach that works well for stuff that people are chattering about at the moment (strangely enough, the results for “chrome os” are meatier than the ones for “rutherford b. hayes.”) It can also do things like show you a list of Twitter users who are oft-retweeted on a given topic (such as HDTV or cars).

The site is built around a giant database of Tweets that have been analyzed and indexed, so the Topsy folks know a lot about the terms that show up most frequently on Twitter. I asked them to compile a report for me on twenty tech terms and how often they were referenced. It’s not a perfect mirror of the Twitter zeitgeist–Topsy only pays attention to Tweets that contain links and ones which have been retweeted, and it finds keywords even if they’re in a URL rather than the meat of the Tweet–but it’s still a useful reality check.

Here it is…

1. Facebook: 53,412,489 mentions
2. Google: 19,259,795
3. Apple: 16,543,829
4. iPhone: 16,235,727
5. iPad: 15,513,365
6. Windows: 10,999,084
7. Yahoo: 10,953,644
8. Android: 9,498,944
9. Twitter: 9,036,058
10. HP: 7,394,937
11. Mac: 6,425,108
12. Xbox: 6,175,546
13. BlackBerry: 5,679,825
14. Microsoft: 5,323,660
15. Wii: 4,198,984
16. Sony: 3,730,062
17. Nintendo: 2,664,423
18. Steve Jobs: 763,066
19. Lenovo: 258,270
20. Steve Ballmer: 47,929

I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that the most popular topic on Twitter is Twitter, and wouldn’t have guessed that something like Android gets mentioned more often. I think Facebook may dominate this list so completely (53 million mentions!) not purely because people talk a lot about Facebook on Twitter–although they do–but because they also use Twitter to to link to items on Facebook.


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. David Perdew Says:

    I'm equally surprised at the number of topics that appear higher on this list than Twitter. I guess this proves that Twitter is becoming more of a medium than a client, a convenient way for people to talk about important topics. I still think that's it's greatest strength. It's much easier to navigate and setup than most of its competing clients.

  2. Jolenta Averill Says:

    Despite its wild popularity, one reason FB might be getting more mention than Twitter is because Facebook is a verb in addition to a noun, whereas Twitter is only a noun. Gotta get back to tweeting now. 😉