(gigaom.com) -- Financial firms once blocked Twitter to prevent employees leaking sensitive information. It worked, but there was a problem: reporters and companies were using Twitter to reveal important news, leaving traders to rely on second-hand accounts.
In response, Bloomberg introduced a Twitter compartment that sits alongside the flow of other news and financial data that appear on its famous terminals. The feature, which provides a way for employees to read but not send tweets, appeared last spring, shortly after the SEC announced that public companies like Netflix can use social media platforms to disclose market-moving information.
This month, Bloomberg took the technology a step further by announcing a sentiment analysis tool that not only alerts traders of a spike an activity, but also shows if the news is likely to be bad or good. Here’s a screenshot of the tool in action after a CNBC reporter tweeted Comcast acquiring Time Warner Cable, 2014â²s biggest business deal to date:
The chart shows velocity alerts (in purple) that reflect a burst in social media activity for a certain stock, as well as bursts of positive (in green) or negative Twitter sentiment. According to Rooney, velocity and positive news alerts for Time Warner Cable appeared on the Bloomberg screen within 90 seconds of the initial CNBC tweet.
Bloomberg has discovered that news about companies on Twitter is disproportionately positive, according to Rooney. One reason is that language and expressions about “a deal” are generally neutral or favorable.
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