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Twitter makes every public tweet searchable

Billy Steele

Remember your first tweet? Neither do I, but it was probably something along the lines of "first tweet," or an equally terrible first impression. Twitter has been working on a way to let you sift through every 140-character message sent publicly over its social network, and now the full backlog of short messages is ready for your queries. To make this possible, the company had to scale its tools -- like the real-time index -- during a multi-year project, accommodating not only the existing library, but properly sorting the billions added each week. Of course, this is a gold mine for businesses, sports teams and others who want to see what audiences were discussing at any given time. "We built a search service that efficiently indexes roughly half a trillion documents and serves queries with an average latency of under 100ms," Twitter's Yi Zhuang explains in a blog post. The ability to hunt through the massive index is rolling out to users over the next few days. Inside mobile apps and on the web, the "All" tab of search results will display that full gamut of tweets.

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