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Every tweet ever made becomes accessible

Posted on November 21, 2014

 

Social networking site Twitter has updated its search engine so that all posts ever produced can be found.

Before this new change, any tweets that were posted to news feeds by users would tend to disappear from the search engine after only a week or so. Anyone that wanted to search for posts further back would have to make use of third-party sites, such as Apple-owned Topsy.

However, the entire back catalogue of Twitter posts, which had always been recorded by the company since its introduction in 2006 but never made available for public search, will now be available through the platform’s search bar.

The ability to find tweets previously lost in the archives will no doubt lead to some concerns of old skeletons emerging from closets, as tweets the users might have hoped would be forgotten about gain the potential to resurface.

The change to Twitter’s search engine has been heralded by the social media site as a way for users to discover classic tweets, including those that cover iconic events that occurred during the platform’s eight-year history. For example, users can view the first tweet ever made, which was by the firm’s co-founder Jack Dorsey, or those connected to major elections and sporting events, including this summer’s World Cup.

To help facilitate the search, Twitter had to make major alterations to the way it stores its data. This now means that the engine can leaf through the half a trillion posts that have been collected, all in a few milliseconds, to gather the most pertinent results to the query.

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