Twitter sells tweet archive to marketers
TWITTER has partnered with Datasift, a UK company, to allow businesses access to every single tweet posted by a user going back two years.
From today onwards, businesses around the world can pay a fee to access all of the tweets written on Twitter going back to January 2010.
It is the first time that anyone will be able to access tweets going back more than 30 days. Until now, other companies which Twitter has allowed access to their tweet archive, have only been able to surface tweets going back 30 days.
However, the partnership with the British start-up, founded by Tweetmeme creator Nick Halstead, is offering companies looking to improve their relationships with their customers, access to all tweets posted during the last 24 months.
Twitter users are only able to access their own tweets from seven days ago.
Tim Barker, Datasift’s marketing manager, told The Telegraph that the service, which costs £635 a month for an entry level package, will help businesses “understand their customers better”.
“We now live in an era where brands are shaped by what customers say and by accessing these tweets, companies can listen to their customers at scale,” he said.
Datasift pays Twitter a syndication fee each time it licenses a tweet to a company. The relationship is not exclusive however, and other companies are expected to follow suit and offer increased access to users’ tweets.
Barker said that Datasift had decided to go back two years as that was when Twitter “really became mainstream”. The site processes around 250 million tweets a day.
He thinks the insights will help brands understand consumers better – but any company which then aggressively markets or targets its customers on social media, will not be received warmly as that is not how to treat users of such sites at Twitter.
Twitter is a public social network, as there is no privacy option. Barker said he had no idea whether the company will allow consumers to access their own tweets going back more than seven days anytime soon.
“It is incredibly difficult to store and serve that amount of data over long periods of time,” he explained.
Justin Basini, chief executive of Allow,a personal data and privacy rights company, said: "Marketers will stop at nothing to get hold of your data. This move shows that all those throwaway tweets have suddenly become a rich new revenue stream for twitter, much in the same way that Facebook has monetised it's offering. It has taken a stream of consciousness, analysed it, bottled it and sold it for a profit. And the worst thing is, you never knew it was going to happen. It just goes to show that online privacy is a rare thing indeed. We think that people should be allowed to have a greater say in who has access to their data and get a share of that data's value."