Twitter to grant data access to researchers


The Twitter logo is displayed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in this file photo taken November 8, 2013. Twitter Inc made $243 million in revenue during the fourth quarter, topping investors' expectations in its first quarterly report as a public company. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Twitter is piloting a data grant program that would let researchers access the company’s historical database of public tweets. The site’s more than 200 million users produce more than 500 million tweets a day.

In the past, a handful of researchers have been granted access to tweets to predict flu outbreaks and assess the geographic spread of trends. Interested researchers can request a grant through Twitter’s Web site.

A small group of proposals will be selected while the company decides how to scale the program.

“To date, it has been challenging for researchers outside the company who are tackling big questions to collaborate with us to access our public, historical data. Our Data Grants program aims to change that by connecting research institutions and academics with the data they need,” the site says.

Twitter held its first earnings disclosure earlier this week after going public in November, reporting revenue of about $242.7 million and earnings per share of $0.02, but is struggling to combat slow user growth.

Mohana Ravindranath covers IT and small business for the Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication.
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