250 Billion Tweets and Counting

Twitter had 250 billion tweets in 2010. It also added 100 million new users. An amazing growth for a company that’s only been around for a few years. Twitter has also improved its infrastructure exponentially, being able to support growth while minimizing downtimes. I haven’t seen or heard the fail whale for quite some time. That’s a good thing. The last I heard was during the World Cup this past summer. I might have missed one or two along the way.

So, what’s new this year? Twitter’s development team continued to innovate and add value to the Twitter’s experience, by cranking out new features, such as a new homepage, embedded media, tlists, and so on. And what do I expect next year? Twitter will probably double its record number of tweets. Maybe add a few more hundred million users. How about a trillion tweets. Why not.

Finally, there’s a nice story in the San Francisco Chronicle about the artist who drew the infamous fail whale.

Track Tweets Between People Using Bettween

Ever wonder if there was a way to track conversations between two people on Twitter. Check out Bettween, the ultimate conversation tracker. At Bettween’s website, they feature several conversations between people like @mrskutcher and @perezhilton. Interesting stuff.

I learned of Bettween while reading Matt’s post about the Thesis theme violating WordPress’ license, which has generated a ton of comments. One of the comments had a link which captured conversations between @pearsonified and @photomatt.

Bettween is great. The only thing is, you can’t track conversations with your friends or followers that have private Twitter accounts. Fair enough because of privacy issues, but this tool comes very handy.

Twitter @Anywhere

I was browsing around the Internet looking for WordPress plugins and I came across a site called @wpbeginner which introduced me to Twitter @Anywhere. I must say @Anywhere is quite impressive. One of the features of @Anywhere is auto-linkification of Twitter usernames as you’ve noticed on this post.

You can also add Hovercards which you’ve seen at Twitter.com. Hovercards are small, context-aware tooltip that provides access to data about a particular Twitter user. Hovercards also allows a user to take action upon a Twitter user such as following and unfollowing, as well as toggling device updates.

In addition, you can also embed a Tweet Box on your site and encourage your users to share your information. I’ve tested it on this site, but decided not to use it. @Anywhere will hopefully will give you more followers and engagement. I’ve decided to use the auto-linkification and hovercard features on this site.

If you like to follow me, just hover over @ulyssesonline and click the Follow button. If you like to know more about @Anywhere, you can visit the developers site here.

Library of Congress to Archive Twitter Posts

Do you ever feel like Big Brother is watching you? Should you worry? If you use Twitter, the Library of Congress will now acquire the full history of all your tweets as far back as March 2006. What will they do with your tweets since they are already publicly available? No one knows knows for sure exactly. From Yahoo News.

Observers are asking what the Library and its users might do with the information, which is already publicly accessible but has never been properly collected into a single, usable database (particularly one with an academic bent).

The creation of a Twitter archive is really good news — not just for those in the future who need to look up what party P. Diddy was attending on Feb. 23 but also for academics doing serious research about how news is broken, how quickly information spreads during major world events, and how public sentiment on various topics changes over time.

Some big questions remain. ReadWriteWeb asks whether the Library of Congress will offer an advanced search engine for finer-grained insight into Twitter’s archives than current Twitter search utilities offer. But whether or not you and I have in-depth access to the Twitterbase, it’s academic research that will probably benefit most from this archive.

As the Library of Congress’ blogger says, “I’m no Ph.D., but it boggles my mind to think what we might be able to learn about ourselves and the world around us from this wealth of data. And I’m certain we’ll learn things that none of us now can even possibly conceive.”

I don’t know exactly why the government wants to re-double the efforts of Twitter. Now, it wants to store everyone tweets on government servers. What a waste of taxpayers money! All for the sake of academic research! What will the government exactly learn exactly from storing this kind of data? Does it intend to keep a record of every individual who tweets including non-US citizens? I am wary. Should I worry?