Should you run a TweetReach report or set up a Tracker?

We currently offer two TweetReach reporting formats – the individual snapshot report and the Tracker. One of our most frequently asked questions is when it’s appropriate to run an individual report and when it’s best to set up a Tracker. Depending on the type of data you’re analyzing, one of these two formats will better serve your needs. To decide if you need to set up a Tracker or run a snapshot report, just answer three quick questions about the tweets you’re measuring.

1. When are/were the tweets posted?

a) Recently posted
b) Will be posted in the future

If you answered a, you should run a report now. Twitter only keeps tweets accessible for about a week, so if your tweets are older than that, we can’t retrieve them for analysis. Don’t lose them!

If you answered b, move on to question 2.

2. How many tweets do you expect?

a) Fewer than 1,500 tweets
b) More than 1,500 tweets

If you answered a, then you can run a snapshot report after your event has occurred. The snapshot report uses the Twitter Search API, which searches through the most recent seven days worth of tweets. So run that report after, but within one week of, the time period you wish to measure. If you need to measure more than a week’s worth of tweets, see question 3. A snapshot report can include up to 1,500 tweets. If you have 50 or fewer tweets, your report will be free. If it’s between 51 and 1,500 tweets, it’s $20.

If you answered b, you’ll need to set up a Tracker, which can track more than 1,500 tweets. Set up your Tracker before your event begins, or as soon as you can, so we capture as many tweets as possible. The Tracker uses Twitter’s Streaming API, so it captures tweets in real time, as they are posted to Twitter.

3. What is the time period for your analysis?

a) 0-7 days
b) A week or longer

If you answered a, you can run a snapshot report or a Tracker, depending on your answers to questions 1 & 2.

If you answered b, you need to set up a Tracker before your event begins, or as soon as you can. Trackers run in real time, so they will find all new tweets as they are posted to Twitter, but they cannot retrieve old tweets.

In sum: if you answered a to all three questions, run a snapshot report. If you answered b to all three questions, set up a Tracker. For other a/b combinations, check the chart below.


*A few disclaimers about these particular combinations… Snapshot reports include up to 1,500 tweets from the past week, so if you have more than 1,500 tweets or data older than 7 days, we won’t be able to find all of your tweets for analysis. You can run an individual snapshot report anytime at Trackers monitor tweets in real time, so they will find all new tweets as they come in, with no limits on number of tweets or length of time. But Trackers cannot go back in time to include old tweets. You need a TweetReach Pro subscription to run a Tracker.