Posted July 23, 2010 4:50 pm by with 6 comments

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People who have way too much time on their hands, have done a study to chart the mood swings of the average Twitter user over the course of a week.

Stick with me, it gets good-ish.

The people running this test come from the Institute for Quantitative Social Science and the Program on Networked Governance, Harvard University. They used over 300 million tweets that were posted between Sep 2006 – Aug 2009 and they charted them based on geographic location and mood of the tweet. The moods were determined through the use of the ANEW scale from the University of Florida which rates a large number of English words in terms of the emotions they convey. (Still with me?)

What the study determined is that there are more happy tweets early in the morning, late in the evening and on weekends. Not surprising when you figure that everything in between those times are traditional working hours, which proves that most people are not happy at their jobs, or at least not happy enough to tweet about it.


Sunday mornings are a particularly happy tweet time for people and Thursday evening is rough. I think that’s because all of the best TV shows are scheduled on Thursday nights and it’s frustrating to have to choose.

It’s also interesting to note that West Coast moods generally follow East Coast moods with a delay of. . . you guessed it. . three hours.

While this data is intriguing and the chart they made is fun to look at, there really is some information here that you can use. If you’re running a Twitter campaign, schedule your tweets to hit before noon and after seven in the evening but be wary of time zones. Sending tweets from the NY office at six will land at the ultimate low tide for Twitter users in Los Angeles.

There is an exception to this rule. You may want to send your tweets in the middle of the day if you’re selling something that depends on a negative mood such as an ebook on quitting your job or 101 Ways to Get Revenge After Being Dumped.

What do you think? Can timed tweets effect the results of your Twitter marketing campaign? Or is one tweet time as good as any other?

  • Timed tweets, my space bulletins, facebook fan page updates, email newsletters.. even web updates can benefit from being posted at the right time

  • It seems like everyone is on Twitter now and sharing what they are doing on a daily basis

  • Yes i am definitely agree with TODHD. I am also sharing on twitter and on facebook everyday what ever i am doing.

  • Very interesting! In tweets, as in life, timing is everything. I’ve never considered this before but really it is so obvious.

  • Interesting this article ; the main question is : is there a real impact ?
    I agree ads on TV are supposed to be more efficient in the evening because we can attract consumers’ attention but when we talk about Twitter (or social media), it is real time web : your post or read something and 2s left you do something else (or be in another mood else), so I’m not sure that you can affect your results basing your Twitter campain on thoses graphs [sorry for my english, I am French]

    • Cynthia

      While many people follow in real time, I would imagine more people play catchup. I have a lot of people on my account and I’m not always going to go back and read every tweet that came in. The ones that hit in the evening when I’m checking the account and have time to click through links and pics are likely to get most of my attention no matter what my mood.