If you use Twitter, you’ve likely been adding content to the U.S. Library of Congress. For better or for worse, the Library of Congress has been archiving public tweets for years. In fact, it has public tweets going all the way back to Twitter’s start for a total of more than 170 billion. The deal is ongoing, so keep that in mind as you type your next public tweet
. As a Facebook user recently discovered
, that should probably go for all social media.
Does the Library of Congress archive its own tweets?
The first part of the Library of Congress’ mission is complete: establish a Twitter
archive and set up the process for daily tweet collection. Now it faces the bigger challenge: finding ways for researchers to easily use the archive in their research. Hundreds of researchers are lining up to use the archive for everything from vaccination tracking to keeping an eye on how politicians are using Twitter. In the meantime, the archive is growing at a rate of just under a half-billion tweets every day. Check out the white paper
if you’re a researcher who hopes to use the archive when it becomes available.