Zoltar Machine

Twitter appears to be experimenting with a new account that can predict which tweets are going to go viral. The new account, called @magicstats, is similar in design and wording to previous test accounts @magicrecs and @eventparrot.

Although the account is currently protected, unlike its predecessors, publications like TechCrunch and The Next Web have been tracking it for several weeks and have gained a bit of insight into how it works.

“When a user tweets something that the service thinks will go viral, it favorites the tweet within a few minutes of it being sent,” wrote Owen Williams of The Next Web. “In both instances where @magicstats favorited our tweets, they received well over 100 retweets within a few hours.”

According to TechCrunch, the account appears to be looking for tweets that are getting rapid attention in its network or on Twitter as a whole. “The account often awarded a fav to a tweet very quickly after it was posted, but we never saw it fav a tweet ‘first’. It always followed other favs and RTs very quickly.”

The functionality being tested is very similar to that of Favstar, which allows you to track how popular a tweet is becoming before it goes viral. The @magicstats account could be Twitter’s answer to which tweets are the most popular, how fast do they become popular, and how far they reach.

Twitter hasn’t commented on this experiment, so we’re not certain that this is an official account yet. If it follows in @magicrecs’ footsteps and becomes a permanent feature, it could help shed more light on engagement for brands using the service. Additionally, it could result in an even more unique experience for members, encouraging them to stay on the site longer.

[Via: TechCrunch, The Next Web, Image credit: Robert and Cathy]