TrendRank Tool by PopSugar Predicts the Trending Future


Staying astride of pertinent (i.e. trending) information should be made easier when using social channels. But with the latest spat of fake news and a constantly-changing landscape, it can be difficult to navigate the sloping terrain that is the internet. PopSugar has created their own compass in the form of a  predictive data tech tool, dubbed TrendRank. The media company's new creation differs from traditional social channels, keeping users informed of what's currently trending. Instead, TrendRank focuses on what will be trending.

On 10 May at FIPP London, Christine Maitland from PopSugar gave a presentation about the company's content strategy. In her segment, she explains how TrendRank works: "Acceleration is what's exciting to us - for example lots of likes in a short space of time. Then the trend team identifies what's 'trending', and creates content accordingly."

At its core, TrendRank is an analytic tool. Chris George, senior vice president of product marketing and sales strategy, tells Adweek that TrendRank analyses 12 million data points a day, accessing content publisher channels and measuring the subsequent engagement. With the tool, brands are able to see if/when publishers are writing about them and if those articles gain popularity. Additionally, if a topic has too many articles, editors can steer clear rather than come in behind trend. TrendRank doggedly tracks publishers and topics, allowing users to "zero in on what the audience is talking about."

At its inception, TrendRank was powered by IBM's supercomputer Watson. Since then, PopSugar has developed an algorithm, enabling the tool to become smarter via the accumulation of data.

TrendRank has not yet been released to the public, and is mostly used by PopSugar staff for the time being. George the "intention is to roll out to brand partners and our content creation side." Looks like those allied with PopSugar will be among the first to test out the tool.

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