Twitter Sensations was a proposed project exploring human sensory capacities as expressed through Twitter — intended as a permanent installation for the lobby of their San Francisco headquarters, with companion pieces online.
The project would include nine interactive movements:
Flocking — vast particle clouds swarm around the screen, periodically coalescing into hashtags and other objects of focused attention.
Flowing — the stream of recent Tweets, known internally as “the firehose,” is visualized as an exploding particle fountain.
Trending — clusters of particles rise to form clouds, revealing the machinations of Twitter’s “trending topics” algorithm.
Streaming — a flowing river of live videos slides across the screen, offering brief windows into life on Earth at that moment.
Glimpsing — live videos are abstracted into colorful pixelated squares, reminiscent of stained glass windows in a cathedral.
Blinking — thousands of photos posted each moment create a visual mosaic, which is completely refreshed from second to second.
Bubbling — particle clusters coalesce organically, showing the way in which Tweets “bubble up” through the network via likes and retweets.
Showing — five columns of images show recently posted photos that relate to each of the five human senses — I see, I touch, I hear, I smell, I taste.
Sensing, five columns of text show recent statements of sensation that relate to the five human senses — I see, I touch, I hear, I smell, I taste.
The proposal was made in response to an invitation from Twitter, and was initially accepted — but when Twitter’s CEO of five years, Dick Costolo, suddenly stepped down, the project was paused and then later abandoned.