taste1New cookery series The Taste, featuring Nigella Lawson, is soon to include a Manchester-produced app which monitors the twitter ‘buzz’ around contestants.

Channel 4 has commissioned Corporation Pop to develop ‘The Taste Twitter Tracker’ which is to be launched with next week’s episode,

The app provides a real-time visualisation of each contestant’s popularity on Twitter. By tracking tweets which contain both the show’s hashtag (#TheTaste) and the contestant’s name the app calculates the percentage of total tweets that each contestant has received.

This is displayed as a series of circles, each representing a single contestant, which grow or shrink in size depending on the contestant’s share of the buzz. The app also looks for adjectives in the tweets and displays the top 10 descriptive words relating to each contestant and their dishes at any point in time. A ‘hot or not’ meter takes the temperature of the sentiment behind the tweets whilst a timeline ‘scrubber’ allows the user to see how the buzz has changed over time since the start of the series.

Managing director, Dom Raban said: “We’ve developed several twitter tools in the past but what excites me about this app is that it is analysing data on a number of different and quite sophisticated levels. I think it’s going to add real value to the viewer’s second-screen experience.”  

The Taste, based on the US hit series, sees Lawson and her fellow mentor-judges, Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebvre, go head-to-head to find The Taste’s first British winner.

At the beginning of the series, 25 contestants are whittled down to twelve and divided in to three teams of four, each mentored by one of the celebrity chefs. In each subsequent episode, the teams face group and individual challenges knowing that one of them will be eliminated by the end of the show. The taste tests are blind so a mentor could easily send home their own team member if their spoonful doesn’t deliver a taste sensation, adding extra tension to the show.

It’s not the first interactive work the digital agency has produced for channel 4. Last year it was commissioned to produce the online assets to support the 4Ramadan season.

The Taste app, which will be launched to coincide with the second episode of the show on 14th January is available both at channel4.com/thetaste and via ‘4Now’, Channel 4’s companion app which is available to download from the iTunes store.