Think about what a heartbeat is for a second. It never stops (until the day it does, but for more data on that check out last week’s post), it’s the constant background hum to everything we do.

Social media can be a lot like a heartbeat for the entire planet. It’s always on and if for some reason it ever did stop you’d feel very real fear that the world had ended. It’s the constant background noise we’ve all become so accustomed to: every second we send out 6,000 Tweets. Every minute, we upload 300 hours of video to Youtube. Every day over 58,000,000 photos are uploaded to Instagram. That’s a lot of data.

And of course wherever there’s data there are amazing ways to look at it.

What’s everyone talking about?

Just take a quick look at our first visualization and you’ll quickly see where those 6,000 Tweets a minute come from. is a dynamic, real-time display of what those Tweets are and where they are coming from.

Twitter data visualization
I wonder what they’re talking about in New Zealand this morning…

The truly impressive thing about this way to visualize Twitter data is the sheer scalability. Zoomed out you can see the entire globe, with the blue circles representing clusters of Tweets. Zoom in a little bit and the clusters expand to show more detail until finally you get to the street view and find out what they’re having for dinner in Egypt while you’re still waking up in New York.

And it becomes even more impressive once you dig in and start searching for specific tags and times. For example, it was especially refreshing to discover that this morning literally thousands of people were hoping everyone else had a great day. It’s a simple sentiment, but seeing just how many people had the same kind idea across the country was inspiring.

What’s everyone watching?

Now that know roughly what everyone is talking about, how do we wrap our heads around those 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute? What do we do with so much content?

The answer is “we all end up watching pretty much the same thing.” That’s the theme behind this next visualization from YouTube itself, a trends map showing which videos are the most popular by region.

Not only does this visualization show us the most popular overall videos but it gets really interesting when you start breaking it down and seeing the differences between age groups as well as men and women.

YouTube data visualization
What the ladies are watching…
YouTube data visualization
… vs the men

Apparently women ages 24-34 are learning how to make Sprite jello bottles and listening to Rihanna whilst men of the same age group are almost unanimously watching Boston Dynamic’s new Atlas robot fall down.

The other interesting thing about this visualization is it’s interactivity. Not only does it tell you which videos are most popular in your region, but it links directly to them from the visualization so you’re always kept in the loop.

Do you have a favorite social media visualization? Leave it in comments below or let us know @VisualCue.

Until next time,
The VisualCrew