Twitter’s Yi Zhuang announced today that it now indexes every public tweet since 2006, and the entire index will be searchable.
Want to read peoples’ reaction when Penguin first launched? No problem. Want to relive some of your best personal moments captured on Twitter? Yep, you will soon be able to do that too.
This change will roll out to users over the next few days, at which point you will have an index of roughly half a trillion tweets to search through however you please.
Twitter’s search engine has always been fairly robust, but never been as complete as it is now. Zhuang says was always Twitter’s goal to let people search through every tweet ever published, and it sounds as though that goal will soon be realized.
Twitter’s built in search feature excelled when it came to searching for recent tweets, such as breaking news and real time events. Its real-time index contained up to a week’s worth of recent tweets to search through.
Its full index is said to be over 100 times larger that the real-time index, with several billion tweets being added to it each week.
This tremendous improvement didn’t happen all at once. The full index builds off efforts started in 2012 when the company build a small historical index featuring roughly 2 billion of its top tweets. In 2013, Zhuang says that index expanded even further until eventually building the full index in 2014.
When this change rolls out, results from the full index will appear in the “all” tab of search results on both desktop and Twitter’s iOS and Android apps. To search by a specific date range, Twitter’s advanced search is the easiest way to do it.