Digging for Gold in DataSift’s Twitter archive

Earlier this week, Zdnet posted an article about a deal between Twitter and DataSift. In a further attempt to monetize it’s free service, Twitter has sold its archived tweets to DataSift.

So what does this mean? Well DataSift will be provide an analytic tool, Historics, which mines tweets for information on trends and other useful insights related to brands, current events, politics, businesses, the list is endless. Tweets can range from the mundane to the profound. DataSift will filter through the noise to provide businesses with valuable information—or what they perceive as valuable.

The original article provides an interesting illustration RIM stock prices, the announcement of the CEO’s resignation, and Twitter sentiment, this is an example of the usefulness of analytics.

Twitter Data Analytics and RIM

The deal has gotten a lot of push back online. The biggest complaint is that Twitter makes it difficult for users to access their archived tweets, so why should DataShift be given priority to dig into Twitter’s archive. Others feel the content is own and they should therefore be compensated. I should mention if you have a private account, those tweets will not be accessed by DataSift.

So what do you think? Should Twitter sell this data? What does this mean for Twitter, will there be significant user backlash? And more importantly who owns the content?

For more information on how DataShift works, here’s another Zdent article.


9 thoughts on “Digging for Gold in DataSift’s Twitter archive

  1. Twitter can sell this data, they own everyone’s tweets. I know that this will not be the public’s opinion, people will that this is their content, they created it and own it but that isn’t true. This is a great way for Twitter to monetize useless data that has been stored, vacated and not looked at in along. Although DataShift is, as the title says, digging for gold, I wonder what they will find. Social media is so dynamic and constantly changing, how will the information from these older tweets be relative to research. They may provide supplement information that can support other research but I’m not sure any major discoveries or trends will be uncovered that will change anything at this point. It will be interesting to see what DataShift comes out with.

  2. Its an interesting graph and most certainly a new arena for market sentiment study. From my experience of looking at charts…the most compelling part to me is from 2:48pm-2:56pm. What happened here is continued postive tweets and a decline in negative tweets while price set a higher low and then a higher high. Then I agree with point 3, where price found support at the prior low during a net postive amount of twits.

    With regards to your questions. I haven’t bought into the twitter craze. But if facebook started selling my wall posts, that might bug me.

  3. I think DataShift is offering a great tool that marketers have long been awaiting. As we read in this week’s article about ROI, one of the biggest conundrums when it comes to using social media is how valuable is it to a brand. By using a tool like DataShift, brands can identify what already has worked or hasn’t worked and the types of user engagement that has already organically spawned from their brand activity. Although we have yet to see what the findings will be beyond the RIM example in the article, in theory, this information could be incredibly useful and completely change the way that businesses operate in the social media world as well as how they plan their marketing overall. In regards to the content, whose property it is and possible backlash, I think when it comes to Twitter, all tweets are fair game. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is more of a public forum which anyone, whether a registered user or not, can view your tweets so why not put this commentary to use? Here you do not have the ability to set privacy settings in order to control who has access to their posts, like you would on Facebook. Since Twitter is open I think its the ideal place to gather this type of data and draw some value from it.

  4. I’d be really interested to learn how much the data was sold for and how much profit Datasift thinks they can make off of analyzing it and packaging it for selling to companies (and whether they already have some companies lined up). I don’t use twitter, but I’m sure there is a user agreement that makes people’s tweets their property to do with what they will. I’m a bit amazed sometimes at attitudes that suggest that social networks should be (or even worse, are) altruistic entities just trying to bring people together and make their lives easier. They’re companies trying to make as much money as they can and have smartly induced people to give them, in exchange for a cool platform to share “whatever”, what they are now turning around and selling for huge profits.

  5. I feel like Twitter already sells access, maybe indirectly, so this is just a more public extension of an already existing policy. It might also add some transparency. If a celebrity gets paid for tweeting about a store or product they have some business connection with, it will become more apparent with the data mining solution.

  6. This DataShift ‘ attempt is really interesting. As this week article mentioned, ROI of social media marketing is still skeptical and controversial. If DataShift could provide brands with the analysis of their social marketing, this could be very helpful for them. However, it is obvious that privacy concerns should be solved beforehand. As google did so, Twitter should also present this policy to users and give certain period to get them know about it. I believe this is definitely going to be controversial… But finally twitter will find out how to monetize its business…

  7. From the article it seems like twitter still owns the tweets and just sold datashift the right to mine their archives. I think the real value of this will come when they can make more real time analysis based on the twitter data.

  8. A distinctive characteristic for every kind of media business is that the consumer in one market is also the product you sell in another market. Like in the tv industry, the program is the content that broadcasters sell to audience, while the audience is sold to advertisers. This is the typical business model, ad-based business model, that media industry usually apply.
    For twitter, I think it makes some upgraded process. Users created those tweets, which become the direct product that Twitter sold to DataSift. Can we regard this as a new business model for Twitter?
    I’m just surprised that Twitter is allowed to sell these archived tweets without asking users’ permission.

  9. Absolutely this company should be able to sell its content. As stated by a few others, Twitter owns the Tweets. I think the results that can be uncovered can truly be infulential in every aspect of life in the coming years. What type of campaigns work, how people react to different stimuli, preferences, etc. It will be intereting to follow the results.

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