David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
All Gov

February 29, 2012

Twitter partner DataSift is now offering companies access to two years of tweets, making available a vast amount of market-research information. Through its new program Historics, the United Kingdom-based Datasift is providing businesses with the ability to search and analyze Twitter feeds from 2010 and 2011. Before the development of the new program, only the previous 30 days of tweets were available for companies to search. DataSift is compiling an enormous volume of messages transmitted through Twitter, collecting about 250 million tweets every 24 hours. DataSift claims that it has a waiting of 1,000 companies wanting to subscribe to the service, which will cost a minimum of $1,000 a month.

Some privacy advocates have expressed concern about the turn of events. Gus Hosein, executive director of Privacy International, told BBC News, “People have historically used Twitter to communicate with friends and networks in the belief that their tweets will quickly disappear into the ether,…Twitter has turned a social network that was meant to promote real-time global conversation into a vast market-research enterprise with unwilling, unpaid participants.”

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