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What is the IBM Social Sentiment Index?

The explosion of data in all forms from blogs, online forums, Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels has given consumers a virtual soapbox of unprecedented reach and influence for publicly sharing their thoughts on events, products and services. Businesses, academics and journalists are using sentiment analysis to tap into this social media buzz. By applying analytics and natural language processing technologies, they gain a better understanding of consumer preferences, market trends and brand awareness.

To help clients apply these technologies, IBM has established the IBM Social Sentiment Index to aggregate and gauge public opinion from a range of social media. The software used can distinguish between sarcasm and sincerity, and applies machine learning to identify which social media commentary is important—and which is just background noise. Through this sentiment analysis, IBM creates real-time public opinion snapshots, identifying trends and gauging how consumers feel about a variety of topics from retail and sports, to movies and urban traffic.