There are 554,750,000 Twitter users in the world, according to  135,000 new users sign up every day.  An average of 58 million tweets is sent daily, 1 billion tweets every 5 days.

British scientists have developed a program called Emotive that analyzes twitter messages and breaks down each message to one of eight emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, shame and confusion.  They say collectively it can gauge public mood and sentiment.

“Emotive” is seen as having the potential to calm civil unrest by its creators.

“Social media platforms on their own are innocuous, they’re neutral,” says Michelle Price, CEO of Breakthrough Business Strategies and a social media expert.  “When my clients ask, ‘How can I use social media for my business,’ it really always comes down to what is your goal?  Now in this situation their stated goal was to calm civil unrest.”

The leader of the research team said their analysis of social media provides a very accurate real time record of how and what people were feeling, and foresees its potential to help governments guide national policy. 

“I’m sure they’ve put together an algorithm where they can spot those patterns, and they have a mathematical equation that allows them to run thousands of tweets per second,” Price told KTRH News.  “But the potential nefarious use of it is really scary.”