The Library of Congress started collecting every single tweet published on Twitter back in 2010. It even retroactively archived tweets dating as far back as 2006. This was part of a program to create a single searchable archive of every public tweet. The program was stalled for a few years due to budget and software issues. It’s being amended now as the Library of Congress has confirmed that it will no longer archive every tweet posted on the network.


When the Library of Congress detailed this plan, the number of tweets posted daily was around 55 million. That surged to more than 500 million in 2012 which made it even more difficult to proceed with the program.

The Library of Congress has published a white paper confirming that it will no longer continue this program. While it’s proud of its collection of tweets from the first 12 years of the microblogging network, it will only archive tweets now that are believed to be historically significant.

It only archived tweets with texts and didn’t collect those that had photos or videos. Another reason behind this decision is Twitter change to 280 character tweets instead of the 140 character tweets that the network was launched with.

As far as the searchable archive is concerned, the Library of Congress has said that the archive will remain unavailable until it’s able to resolve access issues. It’s unclear when that’s going to happen.

Filed in Web. Read more about Twitter.

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