An oddball new app harnesses the Twitter API to track how many characters a user has tweeted since they started using the micro-blogging service. It might not be the most indispensable app in the marketplace but it’s not mindless. The app also offers context, comparing the character count to those of literary masterworks by the likes of Shakespeare, Orwell and Tolstoy.
Hungarian developer Ákos Nikházy created Character Counter on a lark, and released it to see what would happen and where people would end up ranking on verbosity alongside a range of literary works of various lengths. He says he chose some books, such as 1984, simply because they are among his favorites, and others because they are known as the longest books ever published.
The methodology might not please the most anal analytics geeks among you, but it’s a way to arrive at an estimate. The app reads a user’s last 100 tweets, counts the characters and divides by 100; then it multiplies that number by the total number of tweets the user has posted.
The all time champion most prodigious tweeter according to the app? That distinction belongs to @FoxNews.
Fox News has sent out more characters than are contained in Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past in the original French), though less than comprise The Yongle Encyclopedia, a Chinese compilation of knowledge which remained the world’s most extensive general encyclopedia until recently being eclipsed by Wikipedia.