(re) Introducing TweeView - a Tree Visualisation for Twitter Conversations


Previously on Terence Eden's blog...

About 4 years ago, I wrote about Visualising Twitter Conversations in 2D Space. Based on an idea by Lucy Pepper, I built a quick hack to show what Twitter threads actually looked like.

Well, lockdown finally got the best of me, and I finished the project!

TweeView.ml

Here are a few screenshots of "interesting" trees, and a little bit about how it works.

In this example, the user has a main thread that they are posting on:
A dozen or so Tweets in a thread.
You can see that a few people reply to some of the earlier tweets in the thread.

In this example, the original user only posts once - but some other users have a pleasant chat in the thread.
Post by Shit User Stories with some descendants.
A common pattern is that there are lots of first-level replies - but very little discourse. That's not always the case - here's the Telegraph posting a story to Twitter.

Post by the Telegraph with lots of children.

While most people are happy to just comment, a few people have sustained conversations. It can get a little fanatic - I've rotated this sideways to make it slightly easier to view:
A long arguing thread.
Two people with very different political opinions have a civilised and productive discussion...

In this rare case, a 2nd- and 3rd-level comment attracts more attention than the initial Tweet.
Someone gets their arse handed to them in a conversation.

And, just for fun(!) here's a ridiculously long thread:

What does it look like?

A long and winding thread.

To have a play, visit TweeView.ml and paste in a recent Twitter thread.

You can also look at these three pre-rendered demos:

Notes

  • This is a demo.
  • It is read-only. You can't send messages and it won't ask you to log in.
  • Limitations in the Twitter API means it only works on Tweets in the last 7 days.
  • This doesn't cope with threads "orphaned" after a parent Tweet has been deleted.
  • The code is open source, and built on lots of open source components, GitHub.com/edent/TweeView.

Enjoy!


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3 thoughts on “(re) Introducing TweeView - a Tree Visualisation for Twitter Conversations”

  1. Marc says:

    This is really cool and helpful! Any chance to have it display the tweets' contents on hover?

    Reply

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