Companies are being given access to Twitter’s huge archive of tweets after the micro blogging service partnered with Datasift to offer a fully searchable archive of tweets dating back to January 2010.
The material is being offered as a tool for planning marketing campaigns, targeting high profile tweeters or even to predict future events – such as the recent ‘Arab Spring’.
Speaking to the BBC Datasift’s marketing manager said: “No-one's ever done this before. it's a brand new service that we're bringing online - it's a massive technology challenge because of the amount of data that is pumped out every single day.”
To give a sense of the scale of the challenge Datasift receives approximately 250m tweets a day, every one of which has to be assessed for a positive or negative tone.
The business venture hasn’t been universally well received however with privacy campaigners complaining that many users believe that their old tweets should be deleted and not sold off for profit.