Welcome to this week’s edition of The Labs Report. Over the past year, The Labs Report has been your one-stop, data-driven shop to quickly get up to speed on the stories, people and topics that generated the most buzz on Twitter.

We’ve learned a lot over the past year, and are now using those learnings to take The Labs Report in a new direction. In an effort to surface more targeted and actionable intelligence on a wider variety of topics, each week we will be highlighting a curated selection of data-driven insights, with a rotating focus on different industries and topics.

In this edition, for example, we’ll be diving into what happened in the Automotive industry this week – and then zooming out to look at the most talked-about stories of the week in general (a fan favorite from our original Labs Report). 

This new direction of The Labs Report is still evolving – you’ll see us experimenting over the next few weeks (or months) until we find a format that is most valuable for our readers. Thanks for bearing with us – we’re excited to see what we can create together.

One last thing – in the spirit of a true week-end wrapup, we’ll be publishing The Labs Report on Friday mornings moving forward.


In Focus: The Week in Automotive

Here’s a snapshot of what happened in the Automotive industry this week: 

Of major topics in the automotive world, electrification and alternative powertrains saw the most chatter this week, with Twitter driving a majority of the conversation. 

The top story? An explosive piece from The Daily Mail, which exposes the working conditions of over 40,000 children in the Congo who mine for cobalt, an essential component of electric car batteries. 

Meanwhile, a post in the r/Science subreddit on a new, bendable supercapacitor also gained a significant amount of traction.

In the world of fuel economy, news stories led the week in terms of volume of chatter, peaking around noon on Valentine’s Day (very romantic). 

Toyota led in brand mentions related to fuel economy across news, blogs and Reddit, while Twitter saw BMW leading the pack, likely driven by a variety of announcements, including the company’s introduction of the new BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car.

Automotive tariffs were also a hot topic this week, with conversation spiking on Twitter the morning of February 17. The major source of the primarily negative conversation? A larger exchange about diplomacy that only tangentially mentioned car tariffs.

The author responsible was Richard Grenell, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, who was coincidentally just named Acting Head of Intelligence by President Trump. 

Interestingly, in the weeks leading up to this announcement, we saw the volume of retweets (orange in the image below) and replies to (blue in the image below) Ambassador Grenell increase sharply in volume on Twitter.


Zooming Out: The Week’s Most-Talked-About Stories

Here are the stories that were trending on Twitter this week:

The original creator of the mega-popular and TikTok-famous Renegade dance gets the (belated) credit she deserves in The New York Times.

A group of federal judges is meeting next week to discuss the implications of President Trump’s intervention in the sentencing of his friend and ally Roger Stone, writes USA Today.

The Washington Post reports on a disheartening new study that shows children as young as six-years-old are starting to mimic President Trump’s “inflammatory” language, changing the dynamic of bullying in schools.

More than 1,000 former federal prosecutors and officials from the Justice Department called for Attorney General William Barr to step down following his intervention in the Roger Stone case, writes The New York Times.

Contradicting his past statements, President Trump now openly admits that he sent Rudy Guliani to Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political opponents, according to CNN.


While You Wait

Want more while you wait for next week’s edition of The Labs Report? Visit our Resource Center and get in touch with our team to find out more about how Zignal can help you measure the real-time evolution of opinion to shape more powerful brands, campaigns, products, and threat detection.

“In Focus” Methodology: The data which drives this section is informed by an analysis of data related to the industry in question from February 14th to February 20th, 2020.
“Zooming Out” Methodology: The data which drives this section is informed by a 10% sampling of Twitter activity around news stories published from February 14th to February 20th, 2020. Stories are published by 25 of the most highly-read publications across the country (based on circulation data), including: ABC News, Bloomberg, The Boston Globe, CBS News, The Chicago Tribune, CNN, The Dallas Morning News, The Denver Post, Fox News, The Houston Chronicle, Huffington Post, The LA Times, MSNBC, NBC News, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, The New York Times, Newsday, Reuters, The Seattle Times, The Star Tribune, The Tampa Bay News, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
The top five stories from the above-mentioned publications that received the most mentions across Twitter from February 14th to February 20th, 2020, ranked by number of mentions from that date range.