And the Oscar goes to…Twitter?

Posted by Ann Hadfield on February 27, 2014 |

“I’d like to thank the Academy, God, my family…and Twitter?” It may soon be that Hollywood A-listers accepting their Oscar statue will include the American people and their tweets, posts and hashtags among their thank-yous for getting them all the way to the top. Or at least that’s how one company sees it.

Ebuzzing Labs is a company that analyzes social media sentiment to capture an indicator of engagement and a reflection of current public opinion, whether to predict a political election outcome, or even the Academy Award winners. They told Mirror in a recent article, that in previous years, there has been a “remarkably strong correlation” between social media buzz and the actual winners.

The company has been studying English language tweets since the nominees were announced. They predict Leonardo DiCaprio will take home his first Oscar with the best actor award for his role in Wolf of Wall Street, going against current frontrunner Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club. They also show Meryl Streep winning best actress for August: Osage County, Steve McQueen taking best director for his work on Twelve Years a Slave, and Gravity sweeping the best picture award.

However, data scientists do not agree with the technology firm’s predictions. Farsite, the advanced analytics division of International Control Company, says data shows it’s already a done deal when it comes to who and what will win on Sunday night. Farsite will explain the science behind its predictions leading up to the Oscars on, you guessed it, Twitter.

Ryan McClarren, Chief Science Officer at ICC is quoted in a PR Newswire article saying, “Our predictions are far more than lucky guesses. Most people are surprised to hear that the same sophisticated, predictive modeling we use in industries like retail and healthcare can predict Oscar winners quite accurately. And while social media buzz may be high this week for Leo DiCaprio, sadly, our data shows he is not going home with a statue on Sunday.”

Their data does point to Matthew McConaughey winning best actor, Alfonso Cuaron winning best director for Gravity, Twelve Years a Slave taking home best picture, and Cate Blanchett winning best actress for her role in Blue Jasmine. Interestingly, none of these winners are the same as those predicted by Ebuzzing Labs.

The real winner may be social media, with millions expected to tweet and share their own thoughts during the red carpet and awards show. Last year the Academy Awards generated 8.9 million Oscars-related tweets. Users sent 2.1 million tweets during the red carpet and 6.8 million during the awards show. During the best picture announcement, tweets-per-minute reached more than 85,000.

So who knows best? One thing we are guaranteed: Anticipation will still be high as the envelopes are opened Sunday night, and we’ll all be talking…er, tweeting about it!




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