Twitter announced today that it has indexed all public tweets, which will give users the ability to search through Twitter’s full library of tweets.
The reason why it took so long for this Twitter search to become complete is because the engineers at Twitter were putting all their focus on real-time output. Twitter’s real-time search engine, which is basically an inverted index of a week’s worth of tweets, has been supplemented since 2012 with almost 2 billion “top tweets”. The list was made even more robust in 2013.
So as of this moment, the task of incorporating the full archive has been completed, and it is now more than 100 times bigger than the live index, and is growing. In fact, is growing by several billion tweets a week, and it’s all starting with @jack’s first message on the network.
And as Yi Zhuang, a Twitter search engineer, noted in a blog post, users will be able to pull up “comprehensive results for entire TV and sports seasons, conferences (#TEDGlobal), industry discussions (#MobilePayments), places, businesses and long-lived hashtag conversations across topics, such as #JapanEarthquake, #Election2012, #ScotlandDecides, #HongKong, #Ferguson and many more.”
As an example, it will be easier to find specific or iconic tweets that you wan to look at, such as this one:
Four more years. pic.twitter.com/bAJE6Vom
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012
Twitter has said that the new search capability will be rolling out in the next few days.