Tweetmeme re-launches to gun for top of the Twitter link tree

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The new version of Tweetmeme, effectively the Techmeme-like aggregator for links Tweeted on Twitter, has just gone live today. Sites like this recently started appearing to help people track what is linked to most on Twitter, which is where the real value lies, not in conversations about someone’s lunch.

But so far the results have been mixed. TwitLinks has not solved the the problem and Quotably dead-pooled.

Twitturly looked promising and works in the same way as the others. It aggregates URLs linked in Twitter messages and puts them on the home page based on overall popularity, calculated simply by determining the number of times the URL was in a Twitter message – effectively re-tweets. The more people who link to an item the higher it appears. As time passes the story loses currency and drops in the rankings.

This is also the way Tweetmeme works but a direct comparison of them today shows Tweetmeme is performing better, and is innovating faster.

On today’s TechCrunch story “Who the Hell Is Enrolling in Journalism School Right Now?” Tweetmeme lists this story as being re-tweeted 241 times (at the time of writing). But Twitturly ranks it with only 102 mentions on Twitter. MicroPlaza – another new entrant to the game – lists it as being re-tweeted 257 times. Given that the post has over 200 comments on it alone, it feels like Tweetmeme and MicroPlaza are on the right track. Twitturly’s best feature, the ability to see the Top 100 URLs the people that you follow have tweeted, also appears to be broken, at least for me.

[Twitturly versus Tweetmeme versus Microplaza]

What is clear is that out of these sites Tweetmeme is really gunning for the top prize in these stakes. Out of all these kinds of sites it is actually categorising Tweeted links into defined channels, which makes it much more useful. And it’s adding something smart – launching a bunch of Twitter accounts for these channels, such as Technology.

Also, coming down the pipe next week will be the ability to watch a live stream of news similar to the new FriendFeed, and it’s already launched other services including an API for other services to build upon, widgets, buttons and a mobile version. Certainly I think it’s button distribution (as in Add This to Tweetmeme) has helped its explosive growth – see graph above.

Unlike other services, since many of the URL’s mentioned on Twitter are shortened, Tweetmeme unshortens them to find the original story link and category of content (e.g. video, blog, image). For most developers this is too much of a burden (and Twitter wouldn’t bother) so the fact that Tweetmeme has exposed that data via an API is another point to them.

Tweetmeme even has a business model – unlike the platform from which it’s derived. Its revenue model is based on sponsors simply paying to have their latest tweeted story listed on Tweetmeme. That story is also pushed into the site’s river of news out onto Tweetmeme’s Twitter and RSS feeds. It’s up to ordinary users to re-tweet it or not of course.

  • Andreas

    I find myself using twittersphere.com more and more due to its compact style. Don’t really care about who tweeted a link etc.

  • James

    I still find myself using http://www.tweetizen.com and tweetdeck more than these aggregators…

  • http://twitdom.com Anuj Seth - Twitdom

    Great comparison.

    I personally started using MicroPlaza a while back. I need to give Tweetmeme a try again.

    ~Anuj
    Twitdom.com – The Twitter Apps Database

  • http://richrecruiter.com richrecruiter

    I don’t know about this. I find real value in conversations about someone’s lunch.

  • Jeff Bonwick

    My favorite in this category is http://www.boilingpage.com. It definitely brings the hottest pages on the web based on how popular they are in Twitter. And it has a search feature which is very powerful. Here’s the search result for ‘techcrunch’:
    http://www.boilingpage.com/index.php?search=techcrunch&sortby=2

    Definitely the best among the twitter trackers.

  • http://twitturly.com Joel Strellner

    Hi Mike,

    Unfortunately, you aren’t seeing exactly how we (Twitturly) works. The counts that you are referring to are Active Tweets, which is all of the tweets in the last 24 hours. Active Tweets also exclude tweets that are spam, duplicates, multiples from the same users and a few other things. Active Tweets are a better gauge of a links true popularity than total tweets.

    As of this writing we have 191 links being shown, you can see that by going here.

    http://twitturly.com/url/560bec739c64261f88c3796f8ceb1598

    Our website receives a lot of traffic, more so than any of the sites you mentioned above, so many parts of it are cached, which is another reason for the discrepancy.

    If you ever have any questions about Twitturly, please feel free to contact us, I’d be happy to explain how the various parts of our site work.

    • http://www.tweetizen.com/ Pallian

      I still like twitturly over tweetmeme… although tweetmeme’s wordpress plugin is a killer. You guys should launch one as well… seems to be the thing to do these days instead of digg…

    • Justin

      I’ll second Joel’s thoughts here. The value isn’t in the raw tweets. If you’ve done any analysis at all you’ll find besides the trash Joel mentions the vast amount of RSS feed idiots.

      Take techcrunch for example. How many twitter accounts are there that people have just pointed the RSS feed of techcrunch to and called it a twitter account? Hundreds. So every techcrunch article get automatically tweets by tons of drone accounts.

      That distorts the numbers and really doesn’t show you what’s popular or trending.

      The tracker we’ve built (won’t bother with the link), discounts all of this to provide only tweets that are genuine links by real people.

      Being impressed with the big numbers is completely missing the point and frankly clueless on what’s really happening.

      • http://tweetmeme.com Nick Halstead

        I think you guys are miss-understanding how tweetmeme works – although we show the tweet count that is not how we choose what goes top, or what goes into our recent.

        Digg shows the Digg count – but it has an algorithm for choosing how things show up, we work exactly the same way.

        We look a whole load of factors that let us push stories to the top so that they get to our users first.

        You just need to look at the growth of our followers + the graph above to see that the stories we find are the best, also we are constantly in the top 4 of the most retweeted twitter accounts, again this shows what we find is what people want to retweet.

      • http://twitturly.com Joel Strellner

        This could be because every button starts with “RT @tweetmeme” too. You guys aren’t the most retweeted, just the most with “RT @username” in it.

        Additionally, the chart above is flawed. It counts every button load as a unique visitor, whether its on your site or not.

        And finally, we do the same, there is an algo that decides what goes to the top, it’s not just ordered by the number of active tweets.

        With all that said, Tweetememe team, and Nick, I commend you for helping to provide a good tool for users, just as Twitturly does.

  • greg

    Anything with the word “meme” in its name is doomed to failure. If they’re lucky, the company will still be around in a year — repurposing their technology for enterprise software customers who microblog about their subscription service add-ons.

    • rainbow

      lol

  • fred

    you can also check european solution : http://www.tweetag.com based on tag cloud size…

  • http://www.jokecricket.com/ Sachin
  • http://www.TheVCF.com The Virtual Consulting Firm

    Good Article and Very Helpful comparison of these Twitter Tools, Mike! :)

    Thank You again for the Good Article, Mike! :) and Everyone Have a Great Day! :)

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    Light blue font on a white background? Tweetmeme shows real intelligence, alienating the 10% of American men with some colorblindness.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan_Allen/501672712 Ryan Allen

    Tweetmeme offers an easy to setup plugin for wordpress blogs. I think that will make a a huge difference. It is actually how I found out about it, mashable has something like it on their site now.

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  • http://www.owenmailer.com 6 hour website

    ok guys i give in what exactly is tweet me??

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