Insights Streams FAQ (Legacy)

This article applies to the previous version of Insights. For the most recent Insights information, see Overview of Insights.

This article contains frequently asked questions about using Insights Streams.

Do Twitter mentions include ones from private accounts?

No, only mentions that are made public by users on Twitter can be gathered and displayed in Insights.

Why can't I add streams?

If you cannot see the Add Stream button in the navigation menu, it means one of two things:

  • You have reached your stream limit. Existing streams must be deleted to make room for new streams, or you can contact the support team to upgrade your account.
    Depending on your permission level, you may only be seeing the streams allotted to your view. Ask the admin of your account how many streams are assigned to your view, and how many remain for the account in total.
  • You have “Observer” permission status, and therefore do not have permission to add streams.

Do I get historical mentions when I create a stream?

When you create a new stream, Hootsuite Insights does its best to gather mention data going back 7 days. There are some additional limitations depending on platform. For the Metrics section of the stream, your data is stored from stream creation date forward unless you make changes to the keyword expression and reindex the stream. The actual content of the mention data is stored on a rolling 90-day period.

Does my conversation map change when I make stream changes?

Yes! The conversation map will update whenever you:

  • Delete a mention, author or domain.
  • Edit the search expression of a Stream.

The updates are not instant, and it may take up to 24 hours for the conversation map to rebuild based on the changes made. Because 90 days worth of mentions are stored, the conversation map will only reflect changes when the timeframe is set to the past 90 days.

How does Insights determine sentiment?

Insights sentiment uses cutting edge technology that combines both machine-learning and natural language processing (NLP).

Insights harnesses the power of this intelligence to analyze mentions and predict sentiment in 18 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

Occasionally, a mention’s sentiment might be incorrect because of double negatives, subtle expressions, and other similar subtleties. These can easily be updated in your search streams and will reflect in your metrics.

How is the Overall Sentiment metric calculated?

The Overall Sentiment gauge in search stream metrics displays the overall sentiment as the difference between positive and negative sentiment. Below that is a breakdown by percentage of positive, neutral and negative sentiment for the search term.

How far back can I get metrics for my social networks?

When you connect a Twitter stream for the first time, Insights will pull all the data Twitter delivers. This includes your timeline, your mentions, and your tweets. As for the metrics, you'll notice some differences in the amount of data we show. We calculate followers because Twitter doesn't provide that data, but for everything else, we go by what Twitter provides, whether it's seven days or two years.

When you connect your Facebook account, Insights will collect the data for the past 30 days. Once connected, though, metrics will be tracked for as far back as your account has been connected.

Does Insights automatically translate my keyword terms to search in other languages?

No, Insights searches specifically for the terms you enter, and does no translation. If you're searching for a term across multiple languages and would like to keep it all in one Stream, you can enter the keyword in different languages into the "have any of these words" category. This will allow the Stream to pick up the variations you entered.

The stream I want to see isn't showing up. Where is it?

If you're having trouble finding a Stream, and you know it hasn't been deleted, it is most likely in a different View. Admins can change views by clicking on Change View at the bottom of the navigation menu. If you are still having trouble finding it, please email with as much information as possible.

Why isn't my RSS collecting data?

Not all RSS feeds are created equal. There can often be errors in the data that don't allow all RSS readers to process the feed-- and valid feeds can sometimes become invalid. For example, a Google Alerts RSS that has no data would be invalid. One great way to see if a link is RSS-compatible is to use a site like For a more technical explanation, we decide if a link is valid depending on the returned data, which we parse with This supports feeds in the following formats: RSS 0.90, Netscape RSS 0.91, Userland RSS 0.91, RSS 0.92, RSS 0.93, RSS 0.94, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, Atom 0.3, Atom 1.0, CDF and includes Dublin Core and Apple’s iTunes module extensions.

How does Insights determine location data for mentions?

To determine the location data you see on mentions, Insights follows a four-step process:

  1. First, our software will determine if the poster allowed the platform to share location data (settings let Twitter share where the author’s tweets are from).
  2. If that information isn't shared, Insights will look at the user's Twitter profile for hometown information.
  3. Insights will then look at the user's social network. If the great majority of the user's network is from France, then we'll determine that the user is from France as well, and the mention will be marked accordingly.
  4. If the above methods aren't conclusive, the location will be marked as unknown.

What do XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL represent for the Reach filter?

Reach is a Twitter stream filter. Each size corresponds with a number of followers:

  • XS: <100 followers
  • S: 100-499 followers
  • M: 500-999 followers
  • L: 1000-4999 followers
  • XL: 5000-9999 followers
  • XXL: 10000+ followers

What does the Checkin Sharing Metric include?

A Checkin is a mention on any supported platform that includes a link from one of these services:

Why isn't my conversation map showing up?

There are a few thresholds your stream has to meet in order for the conversation map to generate under Metrics:

  • You need at least six mentions in your stream. It also takes language into account-- if you want the map in English, but there are fewer than 6 English mentions, the map won't appear.
  • The conversation map is made up of words and phrases frequent enough to be considered relevant. This means that words and phrases need at least six occurrences to show up in the conversation map. If nothing meets that criteria, the conversation map won't show.
  • The Conversation Map can only be filtered by date and language or country, but not both at the same time. The Conversation Map is not supported if any other filters are applied.
  • Normally, the conversation map will be ready in under 10 minutes but it could take up to eight hours depending on the volume of data within the stream. The conversation map contains up to 20 of the top words or phrases. To view the mentions behind a word/phrase, click on it to drill down into the conversation map.

Does Hootsuite Insights have an API?

Currently, we do not offer an API as an official product but APIs power our entire platform.

What languages does Insights support?

Insights collects mention data and provides translation for over 50 languages!

  • Albanian
  • Bulgarian
  • Croatian
  • Dutch
  • Farsi
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Icelandic
  • Japanese
  • Latvian
  • Malay
  • Pashto
  • Romanian
  • Slovak
  • Spanish
  • Tamil
  • Turkish
  • Uzbek
  • Arabic
  • Catalan
  • Czech
  • English
  • Finnish
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Kannada
  • Lithuanian
  • Malayalam
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Slovenian
  • Swedish
  • Telugu
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese
  • Bengali
  • Chinese
  • Danish
  • Estonian
  • French
  • Gujarati
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Macedonian
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese
  • Serbian
  • Somali
  • Tagalog
  • Thai
  • Urdu