Visualizing User Data

The end of this working day was marked by the two presents two major social networks Twitter and Foursquare made to their users – visualized usage history.

On one side Twitter joined forces with Vizify and on the other Foursquare with Samsung Galaxy 4. Both campaigns are using big data (at least in the case of those super users on their platforms). And as much as it is a treat for the socialite, it is also a great marketing effort.  An attempt to attract new users and strengthen the relationship between the social network and its real gold – the tweep or the location-based sharer. It also shows us how much exactly someone can learn about our behavior based on what we do and share with the world online.

The 140 characters social behemoth Twitter and the visualizing service Vizify presented us with a short video Bio that compiled the most used hashtags, popular photos, and most engaging with followers. On top of that one is offered the chance to customize it with music or by choosing the data appearing in the video.  My own Vizify visual resume is no available anymore since the service is no longer available. Now, users could put theirs as links on their Twitter Bio and show more than the 160 characters available to describe themselves there. But pretty cool option, right?

On the same day Foursquare, in cooperation with Samsung, offered us a time machine of our check-ins. The visualization of my shared location made me gasp. The moving graphics through all the places I have been to were simply amazing. In fact I liked them much more than the already great infographic that represents my activity. See for yourself below.

My history on Foursquare visualized

If you use foursquare, I suggest you try out the time machine right away.

I love visualizations. One can learn so much from them and they don’t possess that dry element of looking at a large spreadsheet or a book on statistics. I have been also running for the past almost three years a blog on Tumblr called Infographic of The Day. Check it out!

Having these offers to visualize our shares will probably make many users stop for a moment and ask themselves what exactly they are sharing. One thing is privacy, another is not thinking before publishing an update. There are real consequences that must be considered before hitting the publish button.  The Internet tends to keep things alive long after we thought they were taken off.

Did you get your data visualized? What do you think? Did you find anything surprising?

Copyright © 2013 Borislav Kiprin. All Rights Reserved.