Big Data: How about every tweet ever sent on Twitter…

It has recently become possible to request every tweet you have ever sent on Twitter. Go and have a look at the ‘account’ page when you login to Twitter – there is a button you can click called ‘request archive’. It takes some time to prepare the archive and they email a link once it is ready.

This is very different to how we have always experienced Twitter – with ephemeral tweets that only live for a few fleeting seconds on screen before disappearing off the bottom of the screen.

Even when using search tools to try finding old messages it has usually only been possible to go back 90 days at the most, but this is all changing. Twitter is now including old tweets in search results and this could change the whole social media marketing space.

Brands have long ago started using Twitter as a tool for engagement, measuring sentiment about products rather than just blindly broadcasting information, but if it starts becoming possible to go further back, to dig deeper, to analyse everything ever tweeted about a brand, there is going to be some very detailed information available.

The only problem is going to be one related to what analyst’s call ‘big data’… Twitter generated hundreds of millions of conversations everyday. It is hard enough to analyse current sentiment. Now imagine crunching the numbers on every conversation that ever took place in the past 5 or 6 years.

We are going to need some more powerful laptops…

Twitter, Flickr, Tuttle, ICA Social Club


Photo by Tony Hall licensed under Creative Commons

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