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Twitter and Billboard release new tool for tracking popular music

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Two real-time charts provide up-to-the-minute song rankings

Twitter's social music discovery service might have failed, but that hasn't stopped the company from partnering with Billboard to launch the Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts. The website measures the popularity of songs in the US by scanning Twitter interactions for links to music-listening platforms like Spotify or iTunes, hashtags such as #nowplaying, and the presence of words like "track" and "listen."

Hashtags such as #nowplaying

The new service consists of two real-time charts. The first is Billboard Trending 140, which compares the frequency a song is shared over the past hour with the hourly average of shares in the last day. The second is Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists, which ranks songs from artists with less than 50,000 Twitter followers by the volume of shares in a 24-hour period. There will also be weekly summaries showing the most popular tracks on Twitter during that time span.

The charts are part of Twitter's ongoing attempt to help an entrenched industry tap into social trends. Last year, the company debuted the Nielson TV Twitter Rating system that measures the popularity of television shows.