Twitter is also coming under harsh criticism as it begins selling tweet archives that stretch back as far as two years, the data has been sold to companies for market research purposes. In partnership with UK based Datasift, Twitter will allow companies to search archives dating back to January 2010, and use these to target users, plan marketing campaigns and even try to make predictions. About seven million people in Britain use the social networking website to post short messages to ‘followers’. Most believe their tweets are unavailable to those outside their chosen network after a week because that is when they can no longer be searched for on the site. Using the consideration that roughly 250 million tweets are sent every 24 hours, with more than one billion tweets posted every week around the world, it becomes obvious that the archiving service presents a huge technology challenge, simply through the sheer volume of data.
The licensing deal is part of Twitter’s plan to generate revenue from its service, which is free to its estimated 300million users worldwide. Datasift charges companies up to £10,000 a month to analyse tweets posted each day for anything said about their products and services.
However, perhaps unsurprisingly, the move has sparked protests among consumers who have concerns about how this will infringe on their privacy rights. Most web surfers want stricter laws to protect their privacy and prevent them from being targeted by advertisers, which has in turn led to changes to legislation.
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