Twitter now offers free account analytics. How does it benefit users?

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Twitter Analytics

With 6.5 million users in the Arab world, Twitter is easily the second most popular social network in the region, and the world, after Facebook. Companies, individuals, and governments use Twitter to promote their brands and initiatives and to build an online following.

But those who use Twitter for business purposes sometimes post blindly, hoping their timing, content and activity will hit the mark, attract retweets and keep the conversation going. To help out, Twitter just released a new analytics function this month which will make this guesswork more accurate.

Through Twitter Analytics, users can track their account’s performance, popularity, and most popular content types. The new functionality is currently only available for those who have subscribed to Twitter’s paid ads.

But what does Twitter Analytics actually show you? The platform analyzes several metrics offering a chart and visual representation about the performance of each tweet including favorites, retweets, and replies. Users can also see general details about their followers including location, interests, and mentions by others.

Perhaps most interestingly, the service also lets users see how many people actually click on their shared links, photos or videos. All of this data can also be downloaded as a CSV file and saved to your computer.   

To use analytics functions, users can log in by clicking here and then select the Analytics tab at the top of the page.

[Editor’s note: We held publishing this piece waiting for comment from Twitter. Though they haven't responded, it seems that since the launch, free Twitter Analytics for individuals has been rescinded. Some users comment that the service may only be allowed for U.S. accounts, but we haven’t been able to access the service on any account.]

The benefits of knowing more about how others interact with your account are obvious, but businesses can already pay for free ad functions that offer similar information. An interesting question to ask then is how does this ultimately benefit Twitter’s business model? A free service doesn’t generate revenue, but perhaps they have plans down the road to make all or portions of the analytics a paid service.

Others, like 25trends in Egypt, are beginning to offer similar analytics services, though Twitter likely has a smoother engine for analyzing their own data. But third-party analytics are still useful for those looking to look at several social networks at once or those with concerns that Twitter will later flip Analytics to a premium model.

Would you find these analytics useful for your business or for you as an individual? Would you be willing to pay for such data? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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