One of the hottest new categories of software development revolves around virality prediction. That is, determining what stories and social media trends are about to go viral.
On Wednesday, Google tossed its hat into the ring by expanding Google Trends and introducing real-time trend information — a tool that could change the way researchers and media channels deliver reports and stories.
The real-time data tool gives users access to the roughly 100 billion monthly searches performed on Google. Available in 28 countries, the tool also merges information culled from Google News and YouTube to form trend reports.
Testing the feature out across a broad range of searches, the data appears to be quite accurate and timely. For example, a search for the 1566 Icarus during the first half of April. However, a sharp spike occurs around June 16 when the asteroid made a close fly-by with the Earth.
The general Google Trends tool has been available for many years now, but by adding a real-time element to the mix, Google could finally see the somewhat obscure tool gets some time in the data analysis spotlight. You can give it a try here.