Can you remember the embarrassing tweets you tweeted 7 or 8 years ago? Well, thanks to new infrastructure at Twitter, people can now search and find everything you have tweeted, as Twitter has now completely indexed every public tweet ever made since the company launched in 2006.
The new search is rolling out to all users over the next few days. Simply use the Twitter search to find tweets through the all tab. However, you will likely have to wade through some spam from people who have spam hijacked trending hashtags.
You can access it now through a new advanced Twitter search, which allows users to specify things like specific twitter handles, keywords, negative keywords, hashtags and specified dates. You can also search for “:)” “:(“, and anything with a “?” in it. You can also specifically include retweets in your search results too.
One great benefit is that it provides some great historical timelines on trending hashtags of events gone by, whether it is something political, a natural disaster, or even a conference hashtag you want to go back and catch up on later.
For now, complete results from the full index will appear in the “All” tab of search results on the Twitter web client and Twitter for iOS & Twitter for Android apps. Over time, you’ll see more Tweets from this index appearing in the “Top” tab of search results and in new product experiences powered by this index. Try it out: you can search for the first Tweets about New Years between Dec. 30, 2006 and Jan. 2, 2007.
The full index is a major infrastructure investment and part of ongoing improvements to the search and discovery experience on Twitter. There is still more exciting work ahead, such as optimizations for smart caching. If this project sounds interesting to you, we could use your help – join the flock!
Twitter has the full tech details on how they managed to index and scale their entire index for those interested.
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