Gnip to sell archive of all public tweets
Gnip Inc. on Wednesday announced the launch of Historical PowerTrack for Twitter. The company said it was developed in cooperation with Twitter and is the first commercial archive of the social media site's public postings.
"Historical PowerTrack provides access to every public tweet that's ever existed since the beginning of time," said Chris Moody, Gnip's president and chief operating officer.
"The beginning of time" isn't a long time in Twitter terms, Moody said, because the site was launched in March 2006. It is a lot of tweets, however, and it's a lot of information Gnip can deliver.
Gnip is a Boulder-based company that collects public information from social-media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. Gnip sells what it collects to social-media analysis firms, which study the data for clients such as advertising companies, brands and investment companies.
Social-media analysis has focused on real-time sentiment monitoring, which allows companies to spot trends and get feedback on their products. That's good for immediate reaction, but companies have nothing with which to compare it.
"To date, the entire focus has been on real-time data," Moody said. "There's a need to put things in context."
Having access to historical data will give companies perspective on how one product launch compares with another, Moody said. Access to the archive also allows users the chance to develop predictive models based on what Twitter users thought in the past.
Consumer product companies, business intelligence firms, hedge funds and even historians and reporters are potential users of Historical PowerTrack, Moody said. Users will be able to access the entire archive or just a set time period.
"We're slicing and dicing the data to give people exactly what they want," Moody said.
The price of Historical PowerTrack will be based on how much data a client asks for and the time period, Moody said.
Developing Historical PowerTrack was a "huge" technical challenge more than a year in the making, Moody said. One factor was being compliant with Twitter's terms of service, which allows users to delete tweets. While taking a post off a page is easy, removing it from history proved to be a complex challenge that Gnip was able to solve, Moody said.
The launch of Historical PowerTrack is a defining moment for Gnip.
"It's huge," Moody said. "This is one of the top three milestones in the company's history."
Gnip employs about 45 people, up from about 15 last year. While the company does not discuss revenue in detail, it is posting double-digit gains each quarter, Moody said.
This isn't Gnip's first project that focuses on collecting the Twitter archive. Last year, the company partnered with Twitter to provide the entire public archive of tweets to the Library of Congress.
"It's important human history," Moody said, "and they want to archive it."
More breaking news...
Dean Foods completes WhiteWave spinoff
Simon Smith will serve as executive vice
Summit to explore impact of sequestration
Broomfield-based WhiteWave Foods Co. (NYSE: WWAV) shareholders own 80 percent of the company. Dallas-based Dean Foods Co.
Federal budget cuts known as