Import from Twitter


Twitter is an online social media site that allows its members to post messages (known as Tweets) of up to 140 characters.

You can import Tweets that you have collected with NCapture.

What do you want to do?


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Content from Twitter can be captured and imported into NVivo. Before you can import Twitter content into NVivo, you first need to have captured it with NCapture.

You can capture Twitter data as a dataset that you can auto code in NVivo. When you capture Tweets as a dataset, information about the author of the Tweet—for example, Location and Number of Followers—is also included.

Alternatively, you can capture the web page showing Tweets as a PDF—this is the only option when you are viewing your home timeline.

NCapture is a web browser extension that enables you to gather material from the web to import into NVivo for Mac. NCapture for Chrome is available from the Chrome web store.

For information about capturing content from Twitter, refer to the NCapture Help.

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Import Tweets

  1. On the Data tab, in the Import group, click NCapture.

The dialog opens displaying the default (or previously selected) folder location and any NCapture files that are stored at that location. If you want, you can import NCapture files from a different location—click , and then change the folder location.

  1. Select the capture files that you want to import. If you want to import all of the NCapture files in the current location that have not been previously imported into your project, click Select captures not previously imported.

  1. Click Import. The NCapture files are imported into the current folder location in your project.

NOTE  If the Merge matching social media datasets (including previously imported) check box is selected, any matching Twitter datasets are merged together. Twitter datasets are considered to be matching if they are based on the same search, user stream, list, or favorites. Matching datasets do not need to have the same Source Names. Refer to Approaches to analyzing Twitter data (Gather Twitter data over time) for more information.

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Understand how Tweets are imported as datasets

You can import Twitter data as a new dataset or merge the data into an existing dataset based on the same search, user stream, list or favorites. If you have not previously imported similar Twitter data, or do not choose to merge matching social media datasets when you import the data, then a new dataset is created.

Information you provided at the time of capture is imported as follows:

  • Your description becomes the description of the dataset

  • Your memo becomes a memo linked to the dataset (when you merge matching datasets, memo content is merged too)

If you specified nodes at the time of capture, the entire source is coded at these nodes.

Any hyperlinks from the Tweets are retained in the source and you can click on a hyperlink to follow it. If a Tweet includes a link to a media file—for example, an image on a photo sharing website—the media is not imported into your project, but you can access the picture from the hyperlink.

If the Tweets are the results of a search in Twitter, you can click the link in the Search Term column in the dataset to perform a new search in Twitter.

The dataset is automatically classified with the source classification 'Reference'. Information (metadata)—for example, URL and Access Date—is stored as attribute values for the source.

Biographical information (if available) about each user will be imported together with the Tweets.

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About Retweets

A Retweet is a message that was created by one user and then shared by another user. Retweets include 'Retweeted by ...'  information above the Tweet in Twitter.  

Twitter keeps track of the number of Retweets for original Tweets. This information is included in the NCapture file and can be useful for analysis in your project.

When you capture Tweets posted by a particular user, you can choose to exclude the Retweets from the NCapture file.

When Retweets are captured and imported into NVivo, Retweet information is automatically added to the start of the Tweet to identify the original author—for example, RT @world_wildlife. Due to the 140 character limit in Twitter, this can sometimes mean that text at the end of the Tweet is cut off.

NOTE  There is another method of retweeting where the original Tweet is copied and pasted into a new Tweet and 'RT' is manually added at the beginning of the Tweet before being posted on Twitter. These are handled as Tweets rather than Retweets.

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