The PSL Twitter Takeover

The Pumpkin Spice Latte, (aka the #PSL) is widely contested. Is it basic or buzz-worthy? We set out to find out more about the classic drink and its social media presence on the day of its 2017 Fall season launch.

Latest Activity:

As soon as Starbucks started selling PSLs on September 5th, users went straight to social media, mainly Twitter, to discuss and share their excitement for the return of fall’s most notorious drink. If they weren’t tweeting, their pretty PSL got some attention on Instagram. Brands also got in on the action:

Most Retweeted:

It’s interesting that the most retweeted tweet, along with many other popular ones, were written in a different language, as shown below.

Starbucks’ tweet garnered almost 15,000 retweets.


The majority of PSL fans came from the United States. This makes sense, given Americans’ love for all things fall. (Apple picking in New York, anyone?) More on Poland later…


It made sense that most Twitter users were also mentioning #starbucks in their tweets about PSL, due to the drink’s strong association with the brand. Users also knew it was #time for #fall and the return of the PSL.  

What’s interesting though, is that PSL also stands for the Polish People’s Party, which explains the Polish words that appeared in the Buzzgraph. It also explains why Poland was the second heaviest user of the term.

Word Cloud:

If you couldn’t tell that September 5th meant the return of fall, this word cloud makes it loud and clear: A limited-time only PSL means September, pumpkins, leaves, and warm colors. (Peep the adorable most-tweeted emojis).

Back to our earlier point: Do people love or hate the PSL? We thought this Sysomos infographic was a fun way to decipher how most Twitter users felt about the PSL. Overall, 66% of users spoke positively about the return of the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte. But if you aren’t sold, check out Time’s article on the matter:

And if you’re in need of some more #PSL, check out the official Pumpkin Spice Latte account and thank us later:


Jenn Castro, Brianna Thompson, Kennedy Patlan


6 thoughts on “The PSL Twitter Takeover

  1. I loved that you added a lot of tweets and visuals to your Sysomos assignment in addition to the ones that were required. I enjoyed that you looked into a hashtag/ topic, that kind of falls under a lifestyle/ hipster trend section. It’s not a serious topic, but the internet is still all over it. The only thing I might have done differently, was that I’d have look into the hashtag a little bit later than the actual launch date, because people might have not known when that day was and spoken more about #psl, after seeing it in stores/ online.

  2. Creative topic! This shows that Sysomos is also a good tool to decipher how most Twitter users feel about a topic. Would be also interesting to see if more women or men spoke about PSL. But anyway, I feel like I should get a Pumpkin Spice Latte now.

  3. I feel like you guys had a consistent voice as you wrote this! I enjoyed the little phrases to interrupt the reader like “apple picking in New York anyone?” I also never knew that the pumpkin spice latte had its own verified page…with glasses. It is interesting how the brand tried to humanize the latte, I guess I never realized how big the phenomenon actually is.

  4. Obviously the PSL is a must-have fall staple, but it’s interesting to see what an icon it is for the season given how long it’s been around. It seems to really have become engrained into the “culture”, so to speak, of autumn. It’s also very interesting to see the intersection of the Polish political narrative, which proves that you should always research which hashtags you’re using to make sure they don’t already exist in another capacity.

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