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Summer Social News Slam: No Vacation for the News Cycle this Week

Summer is showing no signs of slowing, as we enter the second half of August. Don’t forget, the seasons don’t officially change until September 20/21 (depending on which day you observe). As many are enjoying annual vacations, precious time spent with family and friends, or possibly a touch of cabin fever if you’re in an office on any given Friday afternoon in the summer, we’ve cooked up some delicious social intelligence and data nuggets for you to chew on today.

From the announcement of the almighty Alphabet, to Target’s gender-categorization smashing decision, and a whole lot of news from outer space, this week was chock full of news.

Sit back, relax, have a good read, and take a break from counting down the hours until the weekend.

Target stops targeting genders with neutral toy designations

Target has certainly seen a large increase in social mentions since announcing their gender-neutral signage on Friday. The conversation has accumulated around 55K mentions since August 4, with peak mentions occurring on Monday. It is important to note that this conversation began with twice as many positive social mentions as negative, within mentions that the Brandwatch platform categorized sentiment for, but the sentiment has leveled out as the week continued.

The below chart illustrates the continued mention growth through the weekend.

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The gender breakdown of this conversation is interesting as women hold the majority stake of unique Twitter authorship at 60%. It's intriguing to see a significant male Twitter authorship in this conversation as women generally tend to post on social in larger numbers than men.

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To see the most important topics as discussed within a gender breakdown, you can refer to the cloud below where the discussion has taken a political turn, as the week progressed.

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ABCs Have Never Been So Confusing Thanks to Google’s Alphabet

Or is it Alphabet’s Google? Yesterday Google announced its restructuring plans and introduced the world to Alphabet. As a result, stocks have climbed, people have rejoiced, but many are still left scratching their heads.

The Alphabet announcement has received around 304K mentions on Twitter, and while some are applauding Google’s business decision, others are still deciphering what it all means. Key take-aways: Alphabet will serve as Google’s overlord and Sundar Pichai, former SVP of Products, will step into the role of CEO for Google.  

Brandwatch sentiment categorization has recognized that positive and negative tweets are nearly identical. This is very rare, especially across a data set of thousands of tweets. “WTF” was a strong topic within the Alphabet conversation, as many suspect Bing to have been trolling the news.

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One thing that is certain is how global this conversation is. The United States leads all contributing nations at 52%, but seeing as how the US generally contributes within the 80s and 90s, it is a clear depiction of how many other nations are talking about Alphabet.


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The top hashtags further illustrate the size of the discussion as #Alphabet has accrued over 348 million impressions.


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Space Lettuce: The Newest Frontier

Would you be willing to boldly eat produce that has never been eaten before? If you answered no, then maybe don’t look into becoming an astronaut. Yesterday astronauts ate the first ever space-grown food. It was lettuce, which seems harmless enough, but the internet is buzzing about the galactic greenery.

Space lettuce has garnered nearly 38K online mentions, and while the conversation is light-hearted with hashtags like #Lettuce and #SpaceSalad making their way into the conversation’s most popular, the scientific significance looms large. Astronauts could now have a self-sustaining food source that could support them through long missions.

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Love Lost: Tinder Rips Vanity Fair on Twitter


It’s fair to say that Tinder has created a name for itself in today’s pop culture as something other than small materials used to start a literal, not romantic, fire. The popular dating app was recently displeased with some press it received from Vanity Fair, and continued to light a real Twitter firestorm.

With Tinder and Vanity Fair boasting 50.9 thousand and 2.27 million Twitter followers, respectively, Tinder’s tweets were cause for a discussion that includes over 19K tweets, and counting.

The stars of this conversation are obviously Tinder and Vanity Fair as both their Twitter handles are among the top three mentioned within this dialogue, but the Vanity Fair writer whose name appears on the story sits firmly between both organizations in second place.

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The sentiment within Brandwatch sentiment recognized tweets shows that the conversation is overwhelmingly negative, as the discussion is four-times more negative than positive. Most negative mentions discuss what many are calling Tinder’s overreaction on Twitter.

More main topics around this conversation are illustrated in the cloud below.

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Straight Outta Compton hits big-screens everywhere today, but its hashtag has been everywhere on our little screens for over a week now.

The #StraightOutta hashtag has been used nearly 115K times on social media as it has been a poster child for everything you could hope for in a marketing hashtag.

The obvious next question is, where is everyone out of, and it appears that the California setting of the film has lended itself to the conversation as well, as California leads the nation in the #StraightOutta hashtag usage.

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After accumulating over 685 million impressions, if the success of the #StraightOutta hashtag is any indication, the film will do just fine in the box office.

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The Wonder that is the Perseid Meteor Shower

There is nothing like a display of celestial beauty to make you feel small in the world, and when you need to feel big again you turn to your social media follows.

The Perseid Meteor Shower wowed everyone this week, and accumulated around 255K online mentions.

Examining the conversation across gender, it appears that more women took the opportunity to pause and look up in awe, as they held the majority of unique Twitter authorship at 56%.

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With NASA holding a main theme within a second social conversation in a single week, they must certainly be feeling out of this world (really big pun, just then).

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Summer’s not over yet. We’re looking forward to tracking Labor Day Weekend chatter, social hubbub around the MTV Video Music Awards, and analyzing the social Emmy winners.

Interested in learning more about social listening and data or have a question for Brandwatch? Visit us here or email me dinah@brandwatch.com!

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