Is Twitter Selling Out or Just Selling Data?

News hit the wire yesterday that a company called Datasift, the company behind Tweetmeme, has been given access to all tweets dating back to January 2010. The company, which is already known for it’s deep analysis of social media data, says that this access to the historical twitter information will allow for an ” unprecedented capability to filter Social Data, extract meaning and create insights.”

What does this mean?

According to the video that was their latest blog post, Datasift aggregates public social data which can then be dissected and analysed for consumer behaviour, trends and insights. Basically, they look at the overall sentiment of posts, the originating location and details about any linked pages.

Who would be interested in this data?

This kind of in-depth social data will be most sought after by very large brands. And, in accordance with that, it’s likely to come with a hefty pricetag. The service is still in a testing phase but you can sign up for the wait list.

Should Twitter have the right to profit off your content?

There are a few questions in all this that deserve some attention. To start, Twitter does indeed have the legal right profit from public tweets but will users be comfortable with this? Will this stir up some attention from privacy advocates as has been suggested by Mashable? Will the public embrace Twitter the same way if selling tweets becomes a major source of income for the social media site?

What to do if you don’t like it?

If you are not comfortable with your two year old tweets being man-handled for data then you should be able to opt out by deleting the old posts. Is it worth the hassle?

Do you have any thoughts on the latest Twitter news? Does the sale change your views about Twitter? Will you be deleting old posts? Please leave a comment and let us know!

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