What is it? By simply reading the title of my post, you’ve probably already guessed that the website I am writing about has something to do with both stocks and Twitter. If that’s the case than you are correct! StockTwits is the best of both worlds. It is a place for all investors regardless of knowledge or skill level to come together as a community and share what are called “ideas” with their fellow investors and stock enthusiasts alike. With over 300,000 members, the website is always buzzing with information.
StockTwits was founded as a way to enable and organize “streams” of information around stocks and markets across the web and social media. These streams provide new forms of insight, ideas and information that are used by investors, analysts, media and others as they research their own stocks and manage their personal investments. Ideas consist of links, charts and other important financial data, summarized within 140 character messages. Users, which include analysts, media and investors of all types, as well as the public companies themselves, contribute to the stream. It’s a great place for anyone to learn a great deal of information about today’s modern financial markets.
User-Centered Design: Instead of a traditional news source in which content is created by those individuals who work for the publisher, StockTwits’ content is generated from people just like you and me. You have the freedom to share your thoughts to the community and contribute whatever you would like. Because of this particular nature of the site, StockTwits is designed to promote as many social opportunities as possible. Users can customize their homepage so that they can stay up to date with the stocks that are most important to them. Additionally, users have the opportunity to stay in touch with the people they meet by “following” each other, or by sending private messages.
Like most websites these days, StockTwits also allows for social plugins such as direct connections through major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This makes it easy to incorporate your personal financial communications into your broader social interactions when, and only when, you choose to do so.
Rhetorical Analysis: One of the great features on the site is the “trending” bar shown across the top of the webpage. Here, you can find stocks that for whatever reason, are experiencing high social volume. If you visit a trending stock’s page, you’ll get to see a massive flow of user generated “ideas” about what is going on regarding that stock. By reading people’s ideas, you can generally get a good sense of investor sentiment, for or against a particular stock. This is vital information because investor sentiment is extremely important to the performance of a stock in the markets.
Users can publish posts that are either “bullish” or “bearish,” and give an explanation about why they feel that way. Usually individuals are either mostly one or the other, and because of that, you can acquire a good sense of the current “crowd psychology.” Since the markets are made up of nothing more than many participants, it is always good to know what the general consensus is before taking an investment.
Each individual investor who contributes to the fantastic community that exists on StockTwits is doing it for the same reason. We all are there because it is something that we love to do. I always have a great time whenever I am on the website and I am so glad that something like this actually exists! Feel free to check it out if it sounds interesting to you. I promise it’s not boring… we like to have fun while we’re at it!