If there’s one thing the internet has taught us in the last couple of years, it’s this: everybody loves infographics. And they’re especially popular on Twitter, where they’re widely shared.
Yep, infographics are a lot of fun. But the process of creating one is out of reach for a lot of people, because even a basic attempt takes some ability, and the really good infographics require some serious designer chops.
Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a way to automate this process? And wouldn’t it be cooler still if you could instantly create an infographic of your Twitter profile?
Well, now you can, thanks to Visual.ly, the world’s largest community for exploring, sharing, creating and promoting data visualisations. Visual.ly are working hard at building an interface for plug-and-play infographic creation, but in the meantime have released what they’re calling the Twitter Visualizer, which allows anyone to create a personalised infographic of their Twitter profile.
Even better: you can also use the Twitter Visualizer to see how you (or any profile you choose) compare to another Twitter user, including the superstars.
It does this by scanning the tweets and date of the added profile(s), and then attempts to work out who or what the user is by this information.
Here’s how you do it.
- Load up the Twitter Visualizer
- Select your infographic type – a Solographic will generate a visualization that is just you (or any other Twitter profile you choose), whereas Faceoff lets you compare one user against another
- Enter the Twitter account(s) – bonus points to Visual.ly for not insisting on accessing your Twitter profile
- Customize your character(s) – you can specify the gender, hair colour and style, eye colour, skin tone and even accessorize, making your character look more like you (or the profile you have selected)
- Click on the Generate Infographic button
Voila: Visual.ly will crunch some numbers in the background and then load up your infographic, and depending on how well you personalised it, the results can be pretty amusing. You can then choose to share the images with your Twitter and Facebook friends, or paste them onto your blog.
Here, for example, is me:
Okay, so it’s not entirely accurate – although I have been considering a move into politics – but there’s some pretty cool data there.
As I said, you can visualize any Twitter user you like. Here’s Lady Gaga:
Well, they got the obsession part right, but sports?
The Faceoff is even more fun. Here’s Mashable vs TechCrunch:
That’s not a bad likeness of Mashable’s Pete Cashmore on the left – which Visual.ly self-generated, by the way (other well-known tech pundits also seem to be pre-built, like Robert Scoble) – but I have no idea which of TechCrunch’s writing team that is on the right. It looks like part Michael Arrington and part M.G. Siegler… and one or both of them has a drinking problem.
While perhaps a little frivolous, this is nice work from Visual.ly, and I think bodes well for the release of their upcoming infographic creation tool.