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QM spin-out company seeks brands to trial Twitter analytics service

A company that provides tools for analysing what people are saying about brands on social media are looking for organisations to trial their new analytics service.

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Dr Matthew Purver and Dr Stuart Battersby
Dr Matthew Purver and Dr Stuart Battersby

Commercial venture and Queen Mary spin-out company Chatterbox Analytics are looking for consumer facing brands to help trial a beta version of their Twitter-analysing software.

Its founders are giving some businesses free access to the service, in exchange for feedback and testing that will help with its development.

The company was founded in 2010 by Dr Stuart Battersby and Dr Matthew Purver, of the Interaction, Media and Communication group at Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.

Their unique social media analytics service allows organisations to see who is driving discussions about brand-related issues through Twitter.

Dr Battersby said: “Chatterbox addresses a real problem; corporations need to engage their consumers but large amounts of data can make this impossible. Existing tools do not offer details about the context of conversations, which is essential in connected social media networks.”

The analytics software determines who the key opinion drivers are within social media communities. Statistics on the content of messages can determine whether the conversations are positive or negative, giving organisations vital knowledge with which to interact with an audience.

Information is easily viewed through a web-browser and customers can integrate the software into their own programmes if required. The software also works on tweets in several different languages, including English, French and Spanish.

“It is vital to identify conversation drivers in online interactive media. These people are important, not only because they care enough to talk about your brand, product or topic, but because they are in a community of people who do too. These communities are dynamic and they change frequently,” commented Dr Battersby.

Dr Purver added: “Existing tools offer sentiment detection, but this only addresses part of the problem. Chatterbox Analytics brings together our academic expertise in human interaction and computational linguistics and allows us to provide more effective tools than those currently on the market.”

Queen Mary’s business support service, Queen Mary Innovation Ltd, has worked with Chatterbox’s founders to develop their initial ideas and technology into commercially viable opportunities. Partnering with the College gives Chatterbox a unique advantage over companies offering similar services- customers will be assured that Chatterbox will always have access to pioneering technology and the latest developments in the field.

Professor Peter McOwan, Professor of Computer Science and Dean for Taught Programmes in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Queen Mary said: “Chatterbox has now officially joined the ranks of innovative Small and Medium Enterprises in the East End’s Tech City. Queen Mary is proud to be able to support this sort of activity where our research can have a real impact in the market.”

The company are looking to expand and make use of other research from Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science. As the software develops, Chatterbox will be extending the service to cover Facebook and Chinese microblogging website Weibo.

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