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Twitter launches index for tracking Oscar buzz

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Twitter has launched a new Twitter Index that will track the Oscars buzz on the microblogging site ahead of the 85th Academy Awards next month.

The new index will measure and rank conversation about the Oscar-nominated films and actors over the next six weeks up to the ceremony on February 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.

Seth MacFarlane in funny adverts for Academy Awards - video still
Twitter logo

© Twitter















During what is generally dubbed "awards season" in the film and TV industry, Twitter is often the conduit for movie fans to discuss who won what, and whether it was justified.

In a blog post, Twitter's head of TV Fred Graver revealed that over 4 million tweets were posted on Sunday about the Golden Globes awards ceremony.

Backed by the Academy, the Twitter Oscars Index will reflect the "ebb and flow" of movie-related conversations throughout the awards season, showing how positively Twitter users are commentating about the major nominees relative to each other.

The index reflects the sentiment of tweets about nominees in the six biggest Oscar categories - 'Best Picture', 'Best Actress', 'Best Actor', 'Best Supporting Actress', 'Best Supporting Actor' and 'Best Director'.

Jacki Weaver

© PA Images / Chris Pizzello/AP

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva n 'Amour'

© Artificial Eye/Denis Manin


[Left: Jacki Weaver / Right: Amour]

Graver said that people can use the index to see how news events shape Twitter conversation around a certain nominee.

For example, conversation about Jacki Weaver increased significantly on January 10 after she was nominated for the 'Best Supporting Actress' Oscar for her role in Silver Linings Playbook.

Michael Haneke's Amour also saw positive buzz after it won 'Best Foreign Language Film' at the Golden Globes on Sunday.

The index will also compare nominees against each other to see who is gaining the most positive sentiment.

Argo's Golden Globe-winning director Ben Affleck

© Rex Features / Startraks Photo

Ang Lee arriving for the premiere of Life of Pi at the Empire Leicester Square, London.

© PA Images / Ian West/PA Wire


[Left: Ben Affleck / Right: Ang Lee]

Ben Affleck won the Golden Globe for 'Best Director' (for Argo) but he did not receive a directing nomination at the Oscars. So based on the Oscar Index, Steven Spielberg (for Lincoln) and Ang Lee (for Life of Pi) are currently gaining the most positive buzz for the directing Oscar.

Each nominee gets a score based on how conversation around their term compares to all other conversation on Twitter.

For example, Silver Linings Playbook currently has a score of 87, meaning on average tweets about the film are on average more positive than 87% of all tweets.

The system uses the same underlying methodology as the Twitter Political Index, which mapped conversation around US presidential nominees Barack Obama and Mitt Romney last year.

Robert De Niro, Jackie Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
'Lincoln' still, Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis in 'Lincoln'


[Left: Silver Linings Playbook / Right: Lincoln]

"Awards season also brings out the armchair film critic in many of us, as we rattle off our personal picks and pans, and predict who will take home that coveted award at the end of February," Graver said.

"The Twitter Oscars Index offers a way to measure those discussions that happen on Twitter, and provide insight for all those closely following the exciting Oscar races.

"While the next six weeks are sure to be filled with crystal ball predictions of how the illustrious Academy members will vote, the Twitter Oscars Index provides another dimension to the story: the voice of the fans."

The Index also maps out key dates up to the Oscars, such as the Directors Guild Awards on January 26, when nominees could see a spike in conversation on Twitter.

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