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.