We Need Historical Hashtag Data

I want to search for historic hashtag terms. I know I’m not alone. Fifteen days ago, I asked seven students to post tweets with the hashtag #275s12 in them. Today a Twitter search for that hashtag comes up empty.

An Open Letter to Twitter on Hashtag History

Dear Twitter,

I want to search for historic hashtag terms. I know I’m not alone.

Fifteen days ago, I asked seven students to post tweets with the hashtag #275s12 in them. Today a Twitter search for that hashtag comes up empty.

Twitter hashtags not showing

According to my research, tweets only remain searchable for ten days.

Twitter has the data and it is selling it. Datasift and Twitter just announced a licensing deal that will give Datasift access to tweets going back to January 2010 and the ongoing stream of around 250 million tweets per day.

I understand Twitter is offering users a free and useful service and they have to make money to keep operating. But users invented the idea of hashtags and we supply the content. It’s ours.

Dataswift’s customers can search on all sorts of metadata in addition to the tweet itself. So how about it? Let us search on hashtags. Doing so would make Twitter attractive to people like me, and it would not be anything near what Datasift has.

About the author

Larry Press

Based in Los Angeles, Larry Press is a professor of information systems at California State University at Dominguez Hills and a senior editor covering tech issues here at aNewDomain.net. Check his Google+ profile to contact him or see what else he is up to: http://bit.ly/viXqr4.