Twitter announced earlier today that it is extending its search function to include every public tweet since the social network began in 2006.
We’re rolling out the ability to search for every Tweet ever published. Learn about how we built this https://t.co/KhbgVHZtYE #TwitterSearch
— Twitter Engineering (@TwitterEng) November 18, 2014
Up to now, Twitter has maintained a permanent index of all tweets, but its search function has covered just about a week’s worth of recent updates; this due to both the immediacy of the medium and the not insignificant challenge of providing instant access to some half a trillion tweets, a number which grows by several billion a week.
“Our search engine excelled at surfacing breaking news and events in real time, and our search index infrastructure reflected this strong emphasis on recency,” Yi Zhuang, a search infrastructure engineer at Twitter, said in today’s announcement on the Twitter Engineering Blog. “But our long-standing goal has been to let people search through every Tweet ever published.”
Zhuang has outlined the details of how the new search engine was built in the post on the Twitter Engineering Blog.
You can use the new search function by searching by date in Twitter Advanced Search.