Release Notes




Our November '17 release includes several powerful new featuresrequested by users, all focused on ensuring you can find the most relevant Tweets quickly and reliably:


  • Tune your SmartTracks
  • Volume / Trending Alerts
  • Quality scoring on keyword searches
  • Improved Anti-Spam


Take a moment now to make sure you get the most from these unique new features.


Tune your SmartTracks


You can now customize your SmartTracks, boosting the score assigned to Twitter accounts you find useful, or downgrading those you don't. Just use the Thumb-Up and Thumb-Down buttons to override our scores and fine-tune your personal feed.


If you're not yet using SmartTracks, read on for more detail…



What are SmartTracks?


You can follow any Twitter accounts you like in EarlyBird, but sometimes, rather than following specific accounts, you want to pick up all the Twitter activity for an equity, a currency pair, or even something a little less tangible like M&A activity.


SmartTracks use a variety of techniques including keywords to pick up ALL the matching Tweets, while removing false positives or deliberate spam. We then score the Tweets for financial relevance based on the reputation of the sender in political and financial markets, and some natural language processing of text of the Tweet itself. Each Tweet gets from one to five stars as a rough guide to its overall financial relevance. You can then choose the minimum quality threshold for the Tweets you see, using the "Set Min Quality" control at the top :



Most of the time you'll set the minimum score for your SmartTrack to about four stars to get just the most important Tweets, especially for those with a high volume. But any time you want to look more deeply, say when a price moves and you need to know why, you can open up the filter to one or two stars. This gives you a more complete picture but of course much greater volume.


Where do I find them?


Try typing either the ticker, equity name or currency into the search bar. As you type you'll see a list of matching SmartTracks. Try typing USD now to see some of the currency pairs we cover.


How do I tune them?


As you monitor SmartTracks you'll start to recognise certain Twitter accounts that keep popping up.


Clyde Russel below is an Asia commodities columnist at Thompson Reuters. [TIP : Bloomberg and Reuters journalists often put Tweets out as they are developing a story, HOURS BEFORE they post the full article! ]  Clyde doesn't have a large Twitter following, but his views are respected and are often retweeted by more heavily followed UK and US colleagues later in the day. We might be scoring this user in the mid-range based on their text, reputation, financial focus etc, but you may want to be sure to pick up his Tweets whenever he appears in a SmartTrack.


Click the "Thumbs-Up" button, and all this user's Tweets will be scored at five-stars - but only in your personal feed. How you rate someone will not affect how he's scored for other EarlyBird users, it's unique to you. And of course, nothing from EarlyBird leaks out to Twitter. You're not "liking" his Tweet or anything like that.





Of course other users may think Clyde Russel doesn't know what he's talking about. To remove him from your feed, click "Thumbs-Down" to always score his Tweets as the minimum one-star. We don't remove him completely, we just set his score to the minimum one-star. You may want to review the one-star Tweets from time to time to ensure you're seeing the full picture. And if you change your mind about Clyde, click the thumb again to remove your score-override for that user.



Volume / Trending Alerts


If you follow a number of SmartTracks, you'll start to see colour bars against them in the left hand column. These tell you when the quality-weighted volume is higher than normal.


How do the Volume Alerts work?


We continuously monitor the volume and quality of Tweets coming into each SmartTrack. We also monitor how Tweets rates vary during each hour of the day, so as the day goes on and we see a higher than normal volume / quality for that time of day, we start to show the colour bars.



My colleague Roland was interested to see why Boeing was particularly busy today, here's why, they just revealed higher than expected sales signed at the weekend airshow :



Can I see all SmartTracks that are trending like this?


At the moment you only see the colour bars for the SmartTracks you're following. Our next release includes an at-a-glance overview of all trending SmartTracks, even if you're not following them.



Keyword Search Quality-Scoring


Up till now, our quality scoring was just on SmartTracks. If you followed your own keywords we applied some basic anti-spam, but you couldn't easily adjust it.


We've now extended some of the same language-processing / reputation analaysis / other clever stuff Tweet scoring to your own keyword searches.


This kicks in when you FOLLOW a keyword. So when you do a quick search of Twitter, you'll just get Twitter's raw results. But if you then click "Follow Keyword", all future Tweets will be scored, and you can use the same quality threshold filter   as we provide on SmartTracks.  So you can choose to control volume vs quality.


SmartTracks do a lot more behind the scenes to capture more Tweets and reject false positives. So if you find yourself following keywords for more than a few days, let us know and we'll build a SmartTrack to cover what you need.



Improved Anti-Spam


You won't notice it, but behind the scenes we've been working hard to provide an ever more focused stream of the most relevant Tweets. Our policy is to reject spam or false positives, but pass anything through that is genuinely about the equity or currency, with a quality score it so you can chose your filter level. That's how we're uncovering Tweets like the secretary in the ANC Tweeting her disapproval of a new policy affecting mining rights several days before it was announced. This is a better technique than limiting you to a few thousand Twitter accounts your mum would approve of, but it's a lot harder.


This release has some unique new anti-spam techniques. We can't tell you about all of them, but here are some highlights:


  • Many accounts automatically Tweet on a dozen or more Twitter accounts, so in you'd see the same Tweet from multiple accounts. We detect this, and show only the highest rated one or two.


  • The same goes for retweets - if a large number of people retweet the same Tweet, you'll now see only the most highly rated, typically only one or two retweets.


  • We track accounts that typically Tweet porn, and use that information to classify Tweets as spam even when the text of a particular Tweet doesn't contain obvious porn-terms.


But like I say, you probably won't notice this. It'll just be "better".




Posted on 11/10/2017 5:48:10 PMEarlyBird News