My PhD work was inspired by and in a way is a continuation of my MA dissertation about hashtagging practices on social media. In my dissertation I analysed EU cities hashtag rankings on Instagram.

As part of my PhD project, I developed a new digital method for analysing trends on Twitter – Hashtag Cloud Analysis. It is an innovative digital method for studying Social Media trends. It could be located in the field of Media and Digital Methods Studies in relation to the media gatekeeping, audience studies and online communities formation. My main contribution to the field of digital methods so far is my online tool – Trend-Catcher which allows the live analysis of Twitter trends. This is the first tool of this type that focuses purely on hashtag trends. The analysis is based on the differences in data ‘burstiness’. It takes data from Twitter and recombines it and builds on top of it in order to produce new meaningful objects for the analysis.

My first publication: Exploration of City Image through Hashtags (Sak, S. and Piatek, S. 2015), put my Hashtag Cloud Analysis into the practical test. It explored people’s spatial experiences and their consequent mental formations in relation to digital media (Twitter).

Tools for researching Twitter

  • Cardigan – helps to find and delete old tweets
  • – allows you to search and track Twitter hashtags. It provides the top 10 related hashtags, top influencers by hashtag, usage patterns, popularity, growth by month and week, definition and recent tweets.
  • – provides hashtag analytics and hashtag dictionary which definitions of popular hashtags. It also has a large database of articles about hashtags.
  • – Hashtag monitoring and analytics for Twitter

  • Tall Tweets – helps to write tweets that are longer than 140 characters. It can also publish longer tweets as images.
  • Trendogate – provides access to Twitter trends in multiple locations and dates (makes it possible to search for historical trends)
  • Statweestics –  provides the top 500 rankings for hashtags, users, words, locations, sources, and languages.
  • Tagul –  is an easy to use online word cloud generator.
  • Trends24 – helps to keep track of the latest Twitter trending topics throughout the day locally and globally. With the timeline view, it allows watching trending topics history for every hour of the last 24 hours. Cloud view gives provides a tag cloud of Twitter trends that are most talked about.
  • Trendsmap – provides global and local Twitter topic trends in a map view.
  • Twazzup – real-time monitoring and analytics for Twitter
  • TweetDelete – allows deleting all tweets all at once
  • TweeterID – Twitter ID and Username converter. It allows you to easily look up any username (@handle) on Twitter and find out what their corresponding ID is. Alternatively, you can also use it to convert an ID into a username.
  • – provides Twitter analytics including detailed and visual analytics on anyone’s tweets, retweets, replies, mentions and hashtags
  • TwitWipe – allows deleting all tweets all at once
  • TwoolBox – allows deleting all tweets all at once