Twitter Mood: The Pulse of the Nation

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Pulse of the Nation: U.S. Mood Throughout the Day, as inferred from Twitter
Alan Mislove, Sune Lehmann, Yong-Yeol Ahn, Jukka-Pekka Onnela, J. Niels Rosenquist

More than 65 million brief Twitter messages pass through cyberspace per day. Researchers from Northeastern and Harvard universities have come up to visually represent the mood of the nation based on millions of "tweets."

"Pulse of the Nation: U.S. Mood Throughout the Day," appears to confirm conventional wisdom. The findings, visualized on a U.S. map, showed that early morning and late evening have the highest levels of happiness. The West coast is consistently three hours behind the East coast in reaching the happiness zone. In addition, as would expected, weekends were scored happier than weekdays, with Sunday morning as the high and Thursday evenings as the low score. Apparently, work days are not the happiest time in the lives of Twitter users, and by inference the larger population.

The researchers analyzed over 300 million tweets collected between September 2006 and August 2009 to determine the mood of America over a 24-hour, 7-day period, and by geolocation. The mood of each tweet was inferred via Affective Norms for English Words, a word-rating system that gives normative emotional ratings for English language words.

The video below shows the shifting mood, or pulse, over time: 

  • Dan Farber On Twitter»

    Dan has more than 20 years of journalism experience. He has served as editor in chief of, CNET News, ZDNet, PC Week, and MacWeek.


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