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IAB SA launches tool to show what SA’s talking about online

You’ll often hear organisations claim to be “at the beating heart” of a country’s digital industry. In the case of a new tool launched by IAB South Africa, that’s a little more literal than you might expect.

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The member driven body, which oversees the online advertising and publishing space in South Africa has launched The Pulse, a 3D, heart-shaped manifestation of the main topics of interest South African web users on IAB SA publisher members’ digital platforms.

It uses data gathered within the past seven days to show where the buzz is, and plugs into Twitter to analyse South African tweets related to these topics.

Created in conjunction with MetropolitanRepublic, the tool is designed “to demonstrate the power of the South African digital audience to both consumers and advertisers”.

“The platform ingests RSS feeds, categorises the content, fetches tweets for those categories, processes the content for sentiment and renders the output as a WebGL-based 3D heart” says Jonathan Banks, head of technology at MetropolitanRepublic. “It has been quite a challenge, but we are exceptionally proud of what we have achieved.”

Read more: SA online media could soon get code of ethics, regulatory system

The Pulse measures the sentiment expressed in each data source through advanced analytics provided by Lexalytics and its US and Europe text-mining service, Semantria. Lexalytics software and services analyse more than 3-billion documents per day.

“Conversations are happening all the time, whether we’re listening or not,” says Seth Redmore, vice-president of marketing at Lexalytics. “Consumers expect brands to respond, react and be relevant. The Pulse is a great way of showing the trends and vibrant nature of the South African social media universe, and we’re proud that our leading text analytics service is a key part of ‘showing the buzz’.”

“Trending content is the heartbeat of South Africa’s digital landscape,” says Josephine Buys, CEO of the IAB SA. “In the midst of so much fast-paced information, there are particular stories that ignite conversations across the internet each day. Knowing what these are, where these are published and how South African users are reacting to them enables brands to be smarter and nimbler about starting or joining the conversations.”

“Through this digital advertising campaign,” Buys adds, “the IAB SA aims to demonstrate the power of the medium and to educate advertisers about how to capture this valuable audience’s attention and keep it through the use of well-crafted content.”

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