Last Updated Apr 15, 2010 1:29 AM EDT
The answer seems to be yes. Bernardo Huberman from the Social Computing Lab at HP Labs in California is the co-author of a new paper "Predicting the Future With Social Media". He looked at Tweets about movies and was able to accurately predict box office revenues.
So could this be extended to other products? Why not? There are limitations of course, but it's an interesting development in how we measure customer behaviour.