Twitter now has developed a new business model to generate some much needed income. As the BBC reports, it is now selling vintage tweets to companies who are using them for market research purposes. Twitter is using a UK company Datasift to offer up market research sourced to tweet data for $1,000 a month.The company takes in roughly 250 million tweets every 24 hours, all of which is analysed for content – such as whether tweets are said in a positive or negative tone.
On its website, Datasift says: "To create insights from Social Data, we enrich every Tweet with details including sentiment, topics, web-links, location and social media influence – giving companies an unprecedented capability to filter Social Data, extract meaning and create insights."
Still, this is every bit as creepy as Facebook offering your data to advertisers. Graham Cluley at Sophos sums it up: "What's that? You thought that tweets you posted months ago had vanished like your breath on a cold day, or were simply hidden away so deeply and awkwardly on the Twitter website that they would be too difficult to uncover? Think again. If you aren't comfortable with firms being able to mine your past tweets – and potentially gather information about you – you may wish to delete your old postings and think more carefully about what you share publicly on the internet in future." Or as Nick Pickles, director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group told the Daily Mail: "People may consider tweets to be personal property but this deal makes clear they are not. Our personal posts on social media are yet another way for advertisements to be better targeted and that's a very lucrative industry. It's clear that if you're not paying for a service, you are not the customer – you're the product."