Analyzing and Predicting Viral Tweets
Maximilian Jenders, Gjergji Kasneci, and Felix Naumann
Abstract. Twitter and other microblogging services have become indispensable sources of information in today's web. Understanding the main factors that make certain pieces of information spread quickly in these platforms can be decisive for the analysis of opinion formation and many other opinion mining tasks.
This paper addresses important questions concerning the spread of information on Twitter. What makes Twitter users retweet a tweet? Is it possible to predict whether a tweet will become "viral", i.e., will be frequently retweeted? To answer these questions we provide an extensive analysis of a wide range of tweet and user features regarding their influence on the spread of tweets. The most impactful features are chosen to build a learning model that predicts viral tweets with high accuracy. All experiments are performed on a real-world dataset, extracted through a public Twitter API based on user IDs from the TREC 2011 microblog corpus.