Visualizing Twitter networks

Now, I’ve finally rolled out the network visualization mode for TwitterFriends. It does not show the entire network of Twitter contacts (followees and followers) because it would simply be too large and confusing. Also, it would be not very meaningful, since contacts are easier added than removed. Therefore, only the “relevant network” of contacts, a person responded or addressed at least twice with the ‘@’ syntax will be visualized. This is the hidden network of people, a person is giving his best attention publicly on Twitter. After entering a Twitter user name, the ego network will be drawn. Here the one for my Twitter account @furukama:

@furukama's TwitterFriends network

@furukama's TwitterFriends network

The size of the nodes of the network corresponds to the number of Tweets, I have written to my Twitter contacts. Thus they represent the intensity of communication between the central or ego node and the relevant contacts in the network. As this visualization can become very crowded for users with many contacts, you can surf through this network: By clicking on a node, the network centers around it, allowing you a deeper look into the connections between the nodes in your relevant network:

Looking at @saschalobo's network in @furukama's network

Looking at @saschalobo's network in @furukama's network

Below the network graphic, there is a link for toggling between the simple network representation above and full FOAF visualization (FOAF for “friend of a friend“). The second visualization also includes the contacts of my contacts, which are not in my network – my “friends’ friends”. This increases the number of nodes once again, but you can click on nodes to navigate the network. Here’s the full network for Robert Scoble:

Robert Scoble's FOAF network on Twitter

@scobleizer's FOAF network

And here’s mine:

@furukama's FOAF network

@furukama's FOAF network

The network visualization requires no additional installed software such as Java or Flash. I’ve used the great JavaScript visualization library JIT by Nicolas Garcia Belmonte. The whole thing should run on Firefox, Safari and Chrome and with reduced speed in Internet Explorer. Visit twitter-friends.com to try it out with your own Twitter network.

Note: For some users the network may initially appear quite empty because the network data of their contacts are not yet cached. In this case, there will be a list of links below the network graph. By clicking on them you can collect the missing data. Users with private profiles or who have not used @replies can not be included. You do not need to enter your Twitter credentials to visualize your network.

Comments and bug reports via Twitter to @furukama or in the comments. Thank you!

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Comment (1)

  1. kehrseite wrote::

    super gemacht!!! 🙂

    Saturday, December 27, 2008 at 1:06 am #

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  1. […] FUAF Twitter network): Metaroll (2008/12/26) Visualizing Twitter Networks […]