It’s well known that Twitter doesn’t provide a robust search product that lets you find tweets older than six or seven days. That could be because the company is focused on the real-time nature of the product, or that it’s a technological chore to make all of that data available in a way that consumers can use.
While tweets older than seven days still won’t be available to regular folks like us, social data provider Gnip has struck a deal with the micro-messaging platform to provide access to data going back thirty days in the past. Gnip’s clients consist of social media monitoring firms which provide reports to brands seeking to find out what people are saying about them online.
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This deal first came about because Gnip has been working on a project to get all tweets into the U.S. Library of Congress, which surfaced some issues in how to handle this information. One issue was the obvious technical implications on how to do something like this, the other was that there was no policy on how to handle things like deleted tweets.
Companies like Klout, Alterian, and Simply Measured rely on Gnip for access to data, specifically from Twitter. When I spoke to Gnip’s COO, Chris Moody, he told me that this was by far the number one feature his clients were asking for:
This was an extremely high priority for our customers, the people that we work with see this data as the absolute lifeblood for the services that they provide.
Not only does this make customers of Gnip happy, it also takes a load off of Twitter, since access to historical tweets is the number one thing businesses ask the company for as well. By being able to direct those businesses to a company like Gnip, Twitter can focus on its own product and keep its userbase happy.
Gnip explains its customer base as “oceanographers and not fly fisherman”, meaning that the people who want access to this information aren’t your every day users, they’re putting together reports and projections for Fortune 500 companies. By hammering out policy issues like leaving out deleted tweets and not providing access to protected accounts, Gnip is making sure that these companies are following Twitter’s guidelines.
The service is officially called Thirty-Day Replay and Moody describes how it got the name:
What if you could go back and replay history now knowing what you know, and that’s what this tool is about.
Gnip customers currently request access to 3 billion social activities a day from every major social platform including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube using its service. The Thirty-Day Replay service has been in beta with several of Gnip’s customers, but is just now being offered to all of them.