15 Things You Can Learn from 1 Trillion Posts

How 1,000,000,000,000 posts can change the world we live in

This month, Crimson Hexagon’s archive of social media posts will surpass one trillion. To mark the occasion, we compiled a list of 15 questions that can only be accurately answered with access to Crimson’s massive social media library. Play our guessing game, or read on for a summary of the key findings. 

 1 trillion posts. That’s a lot of information.

The exponential growth of social media is nothing to sneeze at. It was only a few years ago here that we announced reaching 500 billion posts, and just over 2 years later, we’ve now doubled our indexed data library of social media posts. Hard to imagine what a trillion might look like? Check out our infographic here. 
But as impressive the number is, it’s less about how much data we have access to, and more about what you can do with it. With so much information, how can we find meaning from all that data and use it to make better decisions? 
Curiosity piqued? Here’s a list of some of the most compelling insights we’ve uncovered over the last 5 years.

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1. When did Airbnb become more popular than the biggest hotel chains?

In July of 2014, Airbnb became more popular than Hilton and Marriott, the leaders of American hotel market in terms of social media conversation. And Airbnb’s lead is only growing. One thing is clear, the way people travel is changing.

 

2. Who is the most popular Game of Thrones Character?

Daenerys Targaryen. Although she and Jon Snow share the top slot for social media mentions, Daeny wins hands down for the “joy” associated with her social posts compared to all other characters in Game of Throne.

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3. What was the most popular iPhone feature release since 2010?

Surprisingly, the “do not disturb” functionality. The feature was initially released in 2012, and beat out some of the seemingly more advanced updates for the top spot, like the introduction to Siri and Touch technologies.

4. What’s the most retweeted news story of the last 5 years?

The most retweeted news story over the last 5 years was posted by the Associated Press. The post itself? The announcement of Donald Trump’s bid for the office of President of the United States. The post came in the middle of the night for many Americans, but was still shared with hundreds of thousands of users within minutes.

5. Can social media finally settle the Mac vs. PC user debate?

Yes. Mac users and PC users can be defined by their interests besides their computer preference. Mac users are more interested in creative elements like typography and web design, while PC users are drawn to gaming and news.

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6. Who is Britain’s favorite royal?

While the queen has reigned for over 60 years, it’s the Duchess of Cambridge that has won the hearts of social media users. Kate Middleton ranks as the most talked about member of the British Royal Family, with Prince Harry gaining steam in the last few years.

7. Low carb vs. low fat: which is winning the diet debate?

Since 2010, the diet scene has been shaped by two popular trends: the low carb versus the low-fat diet. Low fat was the original 2010 leader, but over the last 5 years, it’s shifted to more than 70% of total discussion focused on low carb. Carb-cutters are posting everywhere it seems.

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8. What are the most talked about Pokemon by state?

Pikachu handedly wins this round, but there are 20 states that have other Pokemon Go Characters for their favorites. Pidgey takes eleven states. Eevee takes the top spot in five states. Connecticut and Wyoming mostly discuss Snorlax. Montana talks a lot about Dragonite, and Rhode Island focuses on Gengar.

9. Which movie of the last 5 years is best positioned to be a cult classic?

This low-budget Australian psycho-thriller barely made a splash when it opened in theaters, but has garnered a loyal following since. In fact, The Babadook has the highest ratio of number of social posts to total box office revenue of any of the nearly 50 top-rated movies we analyzed.

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10.What was different about the 2016 presidential election?

Fear was the emotional response that drove the 2016 election social conversation. Posts categorized as fearful were significantly more common (3x) in the 2016 election cycle than in the 2012 election.

11. What’s the #1 bucket list destination?

There were many favorites, but the top spot goes to Australia.

12. Is home sharing killing hostels in Europe?

Yes, or it’s at least threatening to. Hostels dominated the social conversation in Europe for years, but in October 2015, mentions of home sharing services like Airbnb and VBRO surpassed hostel mentions for the first time.

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13. When was the turning point for the #BlackLivesMatter movement?

July 2016. #BlackLivesMatter gained national attention in 2014 with the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, but the movement didn’t reach viral status until July 2016 with the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile when the conversation volume tripled from its previous high point.

14. Is Black Friday Dying?

No, but it is moving onlineWe predict that by the end of the decade, more of the Black Friday conversation on social will be about online shopping than in-store shopping, a stark reversal from just two years ago.

15. How do people feel about self-driving cars?

As self-driving cars have moved from theory to reality, people have become increasingly anxious over their existence. In the last few years we’ve seen spikes in fearful and angry posts from users. The major concerns are hacking a vehicle’s autopilot, the overall economic impact, and possible severe or deadly driving consequences (categorized as doomsday conversation).

Still have questions? Check out our “What do with 1 trillion posts” hub here.

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