Twitter is a great tool to search the latest news and updates in real time, but rummaging your personal history for tweets on a particular subject is not as organized and effective. This holds true even for hashtags. Users on the platform tweet a total of more than 450 million times daily, so finding a tweet from 2006 may be difficult.
Topsy intends to make things easier for Twitter search. The social analytics company, based in San Francisco, is among a few companies that provide advanced search tools for the Twitter “firehose,” the handle given to the whole stream of the microblogging site.
Topsy took a big leap Wednesday after it launched a public collection of the entire history of Twitter that consists of more than 425 billion tweets, images, videos, location pins, and blog posts as far back as the first tweet of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey in 2006. Announced by Topsy CEO Duncan Greatwood in a press release, until now the archive only went as far back as 2010, the year it first teamed up with the social network.
The benefits and advantages of the social analytics tools from Topsy have been on display in real time for several years. The US presidential elections last year saw Twindex, the political index of Twitter, use Topsy analytics to figure out the public sentiment toward every candidate. Twitter used data drawn from tweets available to the public to have a good grasp whether or not the community had a positive or negative view of the politicians. Topsy can even gather the public sentiment at certain locations up to the city level.
Topsy opened its API in August to allow developers to use Twitter information more productively in their own apps.
The comprehensive, new archive may help online campaigns, from marketing to politics. For instance, if a certain political campaign wishes to turn back time and measure public sentiment or opinion in regard to a specific topic in the 2008 presidential race, the people behind it can now do it through the publicly available Topsy library of Twitter data.
The all-encompassing wealth of information is available for free at Topsy.com, whereas the premium social analytics tools are held in reserve for people who will pay for Topsy Pro.
Those who prefer to use the free version of Topsy Social Search can still see the number of times a particular word or phrase was mentioned over the last 30 days. However, they will be limited to the top 100 tweets that match their search term.