Twitter has become serious business, and official partner Topsy’s business is to take it very seriously. The company has just announced a major milestone in the company’s history that is sure to rock your socks off, doing something that not even Twitter itself could, or wants, to do: indexing and searching for each and every single tweet posted in public.
Whether you want to call it the Google of Twitter or not, it’s basically what Topsy has accomplished. It has managed to gather and index all public tweets in history starting from the very first tweet made by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey in 2006. But an index is of no value unless it can be used for something, and Topsy has indeed put it to use, offering the ability to search that index. For free.
You might think that Google, and even Twitter itself, might already be useful for that. Except they really aren’t. Google’s agreement with Twitter to let it index its tweets expired in 2011. And Twitter, for better or for worse, has a peculiar case of amnesia. Its searches are only able to go back as far as a week at most.
And who, you might ask, would want to have access to a ton of tweets going back more than half a decade? Aside from normal users who need it for reminiscing or a few laughs, it also greatly benefits businesses who, as Topsy puts it, wants to “extract meaningful signals from the social media noise.” Topsy’s business is to build a full-scale index of the social web to provide users and customers with powerful social analytic products, and the data to be analyzed.
Of course, Topsy’s index only covers public tweets, so there is not so much cause for alarm over protected tweets and direct messages. Still, this should also serve as a reminder that anything you put online for the public to see will probably stay online for a long, long time.