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The World's First Twitter Tool

Australian scientists have developed the world's first Twitter tool that can map moods around the globe in real-time to help improve the allocation of mental health services. 

The online tool called "We Feel", analyses up to 32,000 tweets per minute about 10 percent of all English language tweets for 600 words that are then linked to emotions such as love, joy, surprise, anger, sadness and fear.

Researchers from Black Dog Institute and The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization unveiled 'We Feel' which analyses the words from millions of tweets to display a real-time view of our emotions. 

The data will be used to monitor the emotions of individuals and communities across different locations, and "ultimately predict when and where potentially life-saving services are required", said lead researcher Helen Christensen of Australia's Black Dog Institute, which researches and treats mood disorders such a depression.

The project currently only trawls through English-language tweets, is limited to Twitter and is hindered by the lack of data about the gender, identity and location of some users on the social media platform.

Despite these limitations, project researcher Bridianne O'Dea said the tool was the first opportunity to get a greater understanding of people who use the platform to tweet about their emotions.

It is hoped the tool could help understand how our collective mood changes and could help monitor community mental health and predict where services need to be assigned. In the first instance, We Feel will help researchers verify whether the large and fast sample of information coming from Twitter can accurately map our emotions. 

Professor Helen Christensen, Black Dog Institute director said, we Feel represents the world's first foray into understanding how social media can be used to detect poor mental health and observe shifts according to time and place.

Author Venkatesh Yalagandula Follow us Google + and Facebook and Twitter

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