Tracking the Oscar buzz

The Oscars may still be six weeks away, but Twitter is already buzzing about the past year’s biggest and best films. And now you can track and measure that conversation with the Twitter Oscars Index, available at oscars.twitter.com.

Year-round, movie buffs come to Twitter to discuss, analyze, and rate the movies they watch; during the Hollywood awards season, that conversation kicks into high gear. Sunday night’s Golden Globes, for example, saw over 4 million Tweets. The Twitter Oscars Index reflects the ebb and flow of the movie-related conversations throughout the awards season, showing how positively fans are commenting on nominees on Twitter.

The Index reflects the sentiment of Tweets about nominees in the 6 biggest categories of the night: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Director.

You can slice and dice the data in many different ways: looking at, for instance, how a certain news event or another award affects Twitter conversation around a nominee over time. On January 10th, the day Oscar nominations were announced, you can see that conversation around Jacki Weaver (Best Supporting Actress, Silver Linings Playbook) rose significantly:

After Amour won Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes on Sunday, positive buzz noticeably increased (in blue):

Another way to explore the Index is by comparing nominees to each other to see which is garnering the most positive sentiment. The Golden Globe winner for Best Director was Ben Affleck (for Argo), but he didn’t receive a directing nomination for the Oscars, leaving the field open to a great deal of speculation. Based on the Oscar Index, directors Steven Spielberg (for Lincoln) and Ang Lee (for Life of Pi) currently have the most positive buzz on Twitter:

The score for each nominee that reflects how conversation around that term compares to all other conversation on Twitter. For example, a score of 87 for Silver Linings Playbook indicates that Tweets discussing Silver Linings Playbook are on average more positive than 87 percent of all Tweets. This may remind you of the Twitter Political Index, which focused on the Twitter conversation around presidential nominees Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Indeed, the Oscars Index employs the same underlying methodology; as we did earlier, we’re once again partnering with Topsy (@Topsy) for sentiment analysis. We also worked closely with the Academy on this project.

Awards season also brings out the armchair film critic in many of us, as we rattle off our personal picks and pans, and predict who will take home that coveted award at the end of February. The Twitter Oscars Index offers a way to measure those discussions that happen on Twitter, and provide insight for all those closely following the exciting Oscar races. While the next six weeks are sure to be filled with crystal ball predictions of how the illustrious Academy members will vote, the Twitter Oscars Index provides another dimension to the story: the voice of the fans.

Posted by Fred Graver (@fredgraver)
Head of TV