New software has been designed to measure an array of emotions that people express online

Emotions expressed online measurable by new software

Software designed to measure the array of emotions that people express online has been developed by a technology company from Belfast.

The software, devised by Belfast-based technology start-up Adoreboard, can detect up to 24 specific emotions such as admiration, rage and terror. More than 60,000 news and blogs sources were used, including social media platforms, to narrow down online behavioural patterns.

“The innovation presented a major opportunity to revolutionise how businesses can understand and improve customer relationships,” said Chris Johnston, founder of Adoreboard.

Designed specifically to enable companies to assess what the customers think about their brands, the software can also be used as a benchmarking tool against competitors.

"Brands currently spend billions of dollars every year trying to influence how people feel," he added.

"Yet there is no single metric to understand the impact of this on consumers. Adoreboard aims to measure what really matters, the human factor of online emotions, and in doing so aims to revolutionise how brands interact with customers."

The online platform has an embedded search function that allows clients to enter a specific brand name, generating results in the format of an index rating from minus 100 to 100. Quantified perceptions can take the form of a graph that charts the media and the general public’s view.

The authority of the source is also factored in, with global media outlets carrying more weight than a single Twitter user’s comment. Microsoft and Amazon have let the tech start-up use free server space due to the large volume of data processed.  

Dr Fergal Monaghan, Adoreboard's chief technology officer, said: "We are taking the emotional pulse of the online world in the same way people communicate in everyday life."

The company has received seed funding from various investors, including Belfast’s Queen University, and won Best Tech Start-up at the Silicon Valley Global Technology Summit.

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