U.K.-based Datasift is now selling “historical” tweets to advertisers willing to shell out at least $1,000. In this case, “historical” refers to tweets sent out by users as far back as two years ago, which, to be fair, did all occur sometime within the spectrum of human history.
Not that Twitter didn’t make your tweets available to advertisers before. But previously, Twitter let most companies access only the last seven days of activity, and one company — Gnip — access 30 days of archives, according to a previous report by All Things D.
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Now companies such as Datasift will be able to search through two years’ worth of tweets, analyze their content and sell that valuable information to different buyers. Twitter ends up getting paid a licensing fee for its troubles.
Who wants your precious tweets from 2010? Advertisers, of course, as well as “hedge funds that are tracking indicators for stocks” and “news organizations analyzing how stories are performing,” according to Forbes.
The question now is whether or not people will feel violated by the move. On one hand, Twitter has always been a much more public social networking site than, say, Facebook. The fact that @Alyssa_Milanohas 1,976,963 followers points to the fact that people — even very famous celebrities — feel much more open about befriending random people and sharing information with them.
Still, the idea of data companies sifting through your digital past for profit might prove distasteful to some. Datasift released a YouTube video explaining how the company analyzes each tweet to determine whether it expresses a positive or negative opinion of something, its location, what topics were mentioned and which links were shared.
Right now, the service is only being offered to a select number of companies as it’s tested, but Datasift says it plans to make it widely available by the end of the year.
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