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170 billion tweets amassed by Library of Congress

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WASHINGTON — The Library of Congress says it’s amassed about 170 billion tweets since it began collecting an archive of all Twitter messages in 2010.

Twitter is donating its archive to the library, going back to the first tweet posted back in 2006.

In a blog post, Library Director of Communications Gayle Osterberg wrote “This month, all those objectives will be completed. We now have an archive of approximately 170 billion tweets and growing. The volume of tweets the Library receives each day has grown from 140 million beginning in February 2011 to nearly half a billion tweets each day as of October 2012.”

“In April 2010, the Library and Twitter signed an agreement providing the Library the public tweets from the company’s inception through the date of the agreement, an archive of tweets from 2006 through April 2010. Additionally, the Library and Twitter agreed that Twitter would provide all public tweets on an ongoing basis under the same terms.”

 
The Library’s focus now is on addressing the significant technology challenges to making the archive accessible to researchers in a comprehensive, useful way. These efforts are ongoing and a priority for the Library.