MovieTracker: Has Viacom Cracked the Social Media Code?

Using Twitter and Facebook, the company has found a way to generate real time measurement’s of the 25 hottest films

Last Updated: October 31, 2011 @ 9:22 AM

Twitter and Facebook aren't just tools for sharing vacation snapshots  and droning on about the minutiae of daily life.

Now, they can also demonstrate if, say, "The Dark Knight Rising" is building stronger early buzz than "The Avengers." 

To that end, Viacom Media Networks is trying to harness the social media landscape to devise real-time rankings of the top 25 movies through a new product called MovieTracker, the company announced on Monday. 

Measuring a film's Twitter or Facebook "cool" factor has been tried before and the results have been uneven, at best. 

Also read: Study: The 'Twitter Effect' Does Not Exist

MovieTracker was created in partnership between Viacom's NextMovie.com and the social media company Trendrr.  It relies on an algorithm that takes into account not only the volume, but also the sentiment of conversations about movies taking place across Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

The rankings demonstrate the positive and negative feelings generated for every film, and quantify each film’s buzz count 

If MovieTracker gets it right, it might be of enormous value to studios, many of whom are already griping that traditional movie tracking is broken and has stopped being able to accurately predict box office performance. 

However, a Viacom spokesperson told TheWrap that currently the product is strictly consumer-facing, though there are plans to meet with studios in the coming months to discuss possible future integration. 

In addition to appearing on NextMovie.com, the MovieTracker will eventually  be available across Viacom Media Networks properties, including MTV.com and VH1.com.