Before we edged our way into digital music, there were the Billboard charts. Those ranking relied on album sales to rank popularity of music. since going digital, Billboard’s ranking system has diminished a bit, as we looked to iTunes sales charts to find music we wanted to try. With their partnership with Twitter, Billboard is putting themselves back on the map.
The Trending 140 sets out to provide a real-time synopsis of what songs are being shared the most, which of course can change drastically over a time period. By gauging the sharing metrics on Twitter, Billboard hopes to give a better idea of how music is offered up, too.
The Trending 140 will count any link to a song on various platforms like Spotify or iTunes. You can also use a hashtag like #nowplaying or #np, as well as note the artist name and song title. Hotwords like “music” or “listen” are also counted into the top 140. Billboard says they count both positive and negative tweets, but favor positive mentions since they usually are accompanied by actual shares of the song.
The algorithm can be seen in action on Billboard’s Trending 140 site, which can show some wild fluctuations. At the time we write this, Kanye West’s “god Level” is down nearly 200%, with the small “trend line”graphic showing the overall trending over the past 30 minutes giving a synopsis of how far the song has fallen recently.