Twitter is great for real-time news and updates, but searching through your history for tweets on a specific topic — that’s much less efficient, even with hashtags. With more than 450 million tweets created every day, finding one from, say, 2007 may be harder (and more painful) than finding a piece of hay in a stack of needles.
Topsy, a San Francisco-based social-analytics company, aims to change that. Topsy is one of a small handful of companies that offer advanced Twitter search tools for the microblogging network’s entire stream, known as the Twitter “firehose.”
On Wednesday 8th/ September, Topsy took it a step further by opening up an archive of Twitter’s entire history to the public — more than 425 billion tweets, videos, images, blog posts and location pins dating back to founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet in 2006, Topsy CEO Duncan Greatwood said in a release. Topsy’s archive previously dated back to 2010, when it first partnered with Twitter.
In August, Topsy opened its API to developers, allowing them to use Twitter data more creatively in other applications.
This new, all-encompassing archive could benefit political and marketing campaigns. For example, if a political campaign wanted to go back and gauge public opinion surrounding a specific issue during the 2008 presidential race, it can now do so by searching Topsy’s archives. The expanded wealth of information is available to the public at Topsy.com, but the more advanced analytics tools are reserved for users who pay for “Topsy Pro,” according to a company spokesperson.
Those who use the free version of the search can still see how many times a specific search term or string of terms were mentioned in the past 30 days; but they will only be able to see the top 100 tweets matching their search.