Twitter holds vast amounts of data, information that has been used by multiple entities in the past to do things from mapping racism to helping form profiles on individuals. In an effort to help with research-based initiatives such as these, Twitter has announced a pilot program called Twitter Data Grants.
The idea behind this grant of sorts is unique, and perhaps more valuable than any monetary grant -- at least for research institutes. As a pilot program, it is currently limited, and Twitter hasn't detailed if or when it might be expanded to further entities, but for now only select research institutions are eligible to apply.
The microblogging website is accepting proposals from interested parties, which have to be submitted by March 15. Says the service, "For this initial pilot, we'll select a small number of proposals to receive free datasets." The data is being offered in part with Gnip, a data reseller that has partnered with the service.
The information that is obtained can be used for all sorts of projects, providing insight into things like regional trends, local habits, population tendencies, mapping for illnesses or issues, and more. This will ultimately serve to make using Twitter data easier for research institutions, and will hopefully help spur projects as a result.
SOURCE: Twitter Blog