Twitter has allowed third-party academic researchers free access to the full history of public conversation via the full-archive search endpoint, which was previously limited to paid premium or enterprise customers.
Twitter API was first introduced in 2006 and since then, academic researchers have used data from the public conversation to study topics as diverse as the conversation on Twitter itself.
These include state-backed efforts to disrupt the public conversation to floods and climate change, from attitudes and perceptions about COVID-19 to efforts to promote healthy conversation online.
“Today, academic researchers are one of the largest groups of people using the Twitter API,” the company said in a blog post late on Tuesday.
With the new Academic Research product track on the Twitter API, qualified researchers will have access to all data released to date.
They will have higher levels of access to the Twitter developer platform for free, including a significantly higher monthly Tweet volume cap of 10 million (20 times higher than what’s available on the Standard product track today).
The new initiative will ensure more precise filtering capabilities “across all v2 endpoints to limit data collection to what is relevant for your study and minimize data cleaning requirements”.
“The Academic Research product track gives researchers a window into understanding the use of Twitter and social media at large, and is an important step by Twitter to support the scientific community,” said Dr Sarah Shugars, Assistant Professor at New York University.
Twitter said that in the coming months, it will introduce a specialized Business product track, as well as additional levels of access within its Academic Research, Standard, and Business product tracks.
“Twitter’s enhancements for academic research have the potential to eliminate many of the bottlenecks that scholars confront in working with Twitter’s API, and allow us to better evaluate the impact and origin of trends we discover,” said Dr David Lazer, Professor at Northeastern University.