How do I decide between a snapshot report and a Tracker?

TweetReach Pro subscriptions come with two Twitter analytics tools - the one-time snapshot report and the ongoing Tracker. Depending on the type of data you're analyzing, one of these two tools will better serve your needs. To decide if you need to set up a Tracker or if you need to run a snapshot report, just answer three quick questions about the tweets you're measuring.

1. When are/were the tweets posted?

a) Recently posted
b) Will be posted in the future

If you answered a, you should run a report now. Twitter only keeps tweets accessible for about a week, so if your tweets are older than that, we generally can't retrieve them for analysis**. Don't lose them! If you answered b, move on to question 2.

2. How many tweets do you expect?

a) Fewer than 1,500 tweets
b) More than 1,500 tweets

If you answered a, then you can run a snapshot report after your event has occurred. The snapshot report uses the Twitter Search API, which searches through the most recent seven days worth of tweets. So run that report after, but within one week, of the time period you wish to measure. If you need to measure more than a week's worth of tweets, see question 3. A snapshot report can include up to 1,500 tweets. If you answered b, you'll need to set up a Tracker, which can track well beyond 1,500 tweets. Set up your Tracker before your event begins, or as soon as you can, so we capture as many tweets as possible.

3. What is the time period for your analysis?

a) 0-7 days
b) One week or longer

If you answered a, you can run a snapshot report or a Tracker, depending on your answers to questions 1 & 2. If you answered b, you need to set up a Tracker before your event begins, or as soon as you can. Trackers run in real time, so they will find all new tweets as they are posted to Twitter, but they cannot retrieve old tweets.

If you answered a to all three questions, run a snapshot report. If you answered b to all three questions, set up a Tracker. For other combinations, check the chart below.

Screen_shot_2010-11-22_at_8.17.12_PM.png

*A few notes about these particular combinations...

Snapshot reports include up to 1,500 tweets from the past few days, so if you have more than 1,500 tweets or data older than 7 days, we won't be able to find all of your tweets for analysis.  However, we can now analyze tweets from any time in Twitter’s past! Going back all the way to March 2006, we can run our historical analytics on any historical tweets in Twitter's archive.

Trackers monitor tweets in real time, so they will find all new tweets as they come in, with no limits of number of tweets or length of time. But Trackers cannot go back to include old tweets. You need a TweetReach Pro subscription to run a Tracker.

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