Twitter is offering access to archived tweets as far back as January 2010 through its partner Datasift. However, the access isn’t cheap: it starts at $1,000 per month to sift through the millions of tweets posted to Twitter every day.
Datasift has access to Twitter’s full firehose of tweets, and now its customers can access a brand new set of historical Twitter data.
Unlocking two years’ worth of old tweets is a potential goldmine for companies who want to understand every inch of their customer base. They can extract precise demographic information using Datasift’s filtering mechanism, in order to target those tweets and accounts that are most relevant to their niche.
Earlier this month, Gnip – another Twitter partner with access to the firehose – announced a new feature which would let its customers search through up to 30 days of historical tweets. Prior to this service, businesses and developers could only access 7 days of tweets.
Now Datasift expands the historical insight that businesses can squeeze out of Twitter by offering its 2 year historical data access.
As the BBC reports, Datasift offers a variety of packages to its customers interested in accessing historical tweets, with the basic plan starting at $1,000 for individuals or developers.
Privacy advocate Gus Hosein fears that by allowing access to tweets that individuals believed to have disappeared from the network, Twitter is headed in the wrong direction:
“People have historically used Twitter to communicate with friends and networks in the belief that their tweets will quickly disappear into the ether. The fact that two years’ worth of tweets can now be mined for information and the resulting ‘insights’ sold to businesses is a radical shift in the wrong direction.”
However, Datasift’s marketing manager, Tim Barker, told the BBC:
“The thing with Twitter that it was always created to be a public social network – which isn’t the case with Facebook which is more of a blended model. Twitter has been public from day one. I don’t see that this creates any new dilemmas because this information is being pushed out socially right now. What Datasift will do is help companies get a longer view of this and a better insight.”
The new service, called Historics, is available to a small group of customers today, and will be available to all customers in April 2012.
(Archives image via Shutterstock)