A Very Beta ReTweet Mapper

I’ve been working on a ReTweet mapping system for a while, in fact, I’ve already published some data I accumulated while building it. The idea is to index all ReTweets and map them to each other so that visual display and programmatic analysis can be done on the structure of viral messaging on Twitter.

Now, I can finally publish a rough beta version of the mapping system. Click on the images to use the features. Please keep in mind: this all very beta still, and rough around the edges.


The ReTweet mapper is the core of the system, it indexes ReTweet streams into hierarchical structures that can be displayed visually as they are here. It also allows for further analysis as seen below.

The search feature allows you to search for ReTweet streams that match keywords, phrases, usernames or links. The search results page shows the original Tweet that started the stream that matched your query. Clicking on the Tweet brings you to the ReTweet map of that stream.

The most ReTweeted page shows a leaderboard of those users who were ReTweeted the most in the last day, hour or week. Clicking on the name of a user leads to a search for that user’s name.

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Jeremy Rivera December 22, 2008 at 6:36 pm

It looks awesome, but I’m confused by the terminology of
“beta”…It looks like these are screenshots and links to 1 of the functions… or am I missing something..

Dan Zarrella December 22, 2008 at 6:39 pm

There are three features I’ve linked to here, Mapper, search and the most retweeted.

Jeremy Rivera December 22, 2008 at 7:15 pm

ah I see now- thx :)

Bill Hartzer December 23, 2008 at 11:01 am

Very cool tools, will definitely check them out.

Mollybob December 23, 2008 at 6:49 pm

I really like your idea with the mapper. Even without a work related interest, it will provide some valuable insights into how people use Twitter. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Dan Zarrella December 23, 2008 at 7:02 pm

@bill thanks

@mollybob thanks, not sure if you noticed, but you can click through the images to play with the tools.

Rodney Rumford December 24, 2008 at 6:14 am

This tool rocks. It really exposes one of the viral components that most people don’t understand about Twitter. The art and science of the retweet is really based on a combination of influence, audience size, value of the information, time of day, listeners ability to hear the message, etc.

I actually wrote a case study in my upcoming Definitive Guide to Using Twitter where we had a large retweet response and actually measured, dissected, and analyzed at how many separate layers/degrees it radiated out, traffic drawn and ultimate conversions on the backside. This is truly fascinating information.

I actually think this is just the tip of the value iceberg submerged in Twitter. Thanks for shedding some light on this with this really nice early stage tool.

Rodney Rumford

Adam C. Engst December 24, 2008 at 1:22 pm

As Rodney says, how often something is retweeted would seem to be a function largely of audience size and the type of information. It’s pretty clear from looking at who’s appearing that it’s people with a huge number of followers who generally post things that are links to external resources.

So I guess what I’m saying is, isn’t this just pointing out the obvious? It’s nice to have confirmation, but I’d be more interested if it would point out something that’s a bit more subtle about the retweeting phenomenon.

cheers… -Adam

silverzippo December 29, 2008 at 3:46 am

Agree with Adam Engst. The “most retweeted” function would be much more interesting if you normalized for the number of followers that someone has if this has not already been done in the data. Else you end up merely proving over and over again that those with lots of followers get retweeted more often.

Brant December 31, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Fascinating stuff — thanks for sharing!

I wonder if you could somehow generate tags for the retweets (and/or the content at the end of any links they contain) to try and figure out the topics your “most ReTweeted” are Twittering about (might prove interesting WRT the silly “authority” discussions going on), trending topics, etc. No idea if the auto-taggers of the world are smart enough to make something like this possible/useful, but could be fun.


Ed January 2, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Dan is on a tear!
Well done.

ppmartin January 3, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Quite exciting, but there is no valid link to the Retweet Mapper, only to a specific exemple of using the Retweet Mapper.

Probably the work of some New Year Grelim?

ppmartin January 3, 2009 at 11:23 pm

“Gremlin”, sorry for the typo.

RaaVi@Social Media January 24, 2009 at 1:58 am

Great tool… an apps for twitter addicted users ( like me :D )

Jag SEO Follow February 12, 2009 at 7:50 am

Great i like to retweet a lot :)

zyxo February 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Nice tool.
With all these twittertools that allready available, it is amazing that people (like you) still find new ways of exploiting the info in twitter.

sean malarkey May 30, 2009 at 8:17 am


Did you give up on this? It seems like an excellent idea.


LarryBlanken January 23, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Dan, I'm really impressed by your retweet work. Tell me, Can this be done easily in the other direction? In other words, there are many lists of who gets retweeted, but who are the top retweeters?

Paul Harrison Carve Consulting May 10, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Hey Dan, this looks cool but everytime I've come here the tool doens't work. Did you give up on it?

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