By Lukas Biewald, August 23, 2012

Announcing Senti – Richer Sentiment Analysis Through Crowdsourcing

Over the past few months, our PM Dave and our engineering team have been working day and night on a new product: Senti.

Senti makes it incredibly easy to ask the crowd rich questions about your social media data.

The Senti Dashboard (designed by our talented Mars):


The core idea behind Senti isn’t new: our customers have used CrowdFlower as a text analysis tool almost since the day we launched.

One of our customers looked into how people feel about different airlines, and found that smaller carriers had more positive tweets.

Another customer looked at tweets about the weather across states to figure out the best places to live. You can actually watch cold fronts and snowstorms pass over the country as blocks of people become increasingly negative about their home towns.

Four years ago, it felt exciting and innovative just to look at snippets of headlines and tweets and check if they were positive or negative. Over the years, we’ve learned a lot from our customers and the thing we heard the loudest is that they want to ask deeper questions about their social media.

This is where Senti comes in.

When we ask nuanced, complicated questions, we start to see more actionable data. For example, basic sentiment analysis might tell me that half the tweets about a new blockbuster movie are positive. Senti could tell you that 90% of those positive tweets are from people who haven’t seen the movie yet, while 90% of the negative tweets are from people who have suffered through the movie. As a consumer, I could avoid seeing the movie :). As a movie studio exec, I could decide to invest in more previews and advertisements to counteract negative word-of-mouth.

Want to see Senti at work?

We ran a sample of tweets about LuluLemon and found that tweets from people who already owned the clothes were much more positive about the brand than people who didn’t. You can play with the Senti dashboard for this data.

We ran the same kind of analysis on BestBuy and found that people who were talking about a BestBuy advertisement or promotion felt relatively positively about the company. The dashboard is here.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be posting some fun experiments using our new Senti tool. My hope is that Senti will push the field of social media analysis forward by making it feasible to ask more meaningful questions about all of the social data we have at our fingertips.