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Why can't tweets be retrieved older than 6-9 days

12 December, 2014 by Tom

Twitter does not currently make tweets older than 6-9 days available to developers through the public Search API
“The Search API is not complete index of all Tweets, but instead an index of recent Tweets. At the moment that index includes between 6-9 days of Tweets.”

In other words,  the Search API does not usually return tweets older than a week. Sometimes no more than 6 days of tweets will be returned, occasionally tweets that are up to 9 days old will appear.

This includes all standard search streams and geolocated tweet searches. Social Bearing is currently not able to show older tweets for generic searches using the free API method Twitter provides. The user timeline search however is limited to the latest 3,200 tweets.

In order for Social Bearing to make available historical tweets older than 7 days via search, we would need to purchase access to the full archive of tweets via Twitter’s enterprise API platform GNIP. This comes with a high monthly fee which at this present time is prohibitively expensive.

Twitter’s own official search¬†have however does allow tweets over 7 days old to be searched. An announcement from Twitter states that all tweets since 2006 have been indexed and are available to search using the official search. If finding older tweets are a priority for you, try using either Twitter search or services like Topsy other services that have access to archived tweets.

We hope that in the future we will be able to provide access to historical tweets either through GNIP or by using alternative methods.



4 Comments

  • sam says:

    hello can you give me a list of website that have twitter archive with analytic for every tweets

  • Please, could you tell me if you be able to recommend other alternative service in order to get twitter archive?

    • Guillermo Garcia Sabate says:

      Gnip (https://gnip.com/)

      One thing, what does it mean 6-9 days of tweets? like you can’t get tweets between 0-5 days old, you need to wait 6 days? this is an eternity!

      • Tom says:

        Hi Guillermo,

        Regarding the ‘6-9’ days, this should probably be a bit clearer. Tweets are usually limited to about a week. Sometimes tweets between 0-6 days old will be returned, occasionally you may see tweets up to 9 days old. The article has been updated to better explain this.

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