Wednesday, April 14 at 8:00 am EST, a tweet on the US Library of Congress Twitter account announced: Library to acquire ENTIRE Twitter archive - ALL public tweets, ever, since March 2006! Details to follow.
The plan to preserve every tweet since Twitter's inception in March 2006, as part of the national archive means that the 50 million daily tweets will be stored digitally in the historical repository, adding up to billions.Twitter's co-founder Biz Stone wrote on the company blog, "It's very exciting that tweets are becoming part of history. Over the years, tweets have become part of significant global events around the world - from historic elections to devastating disasters."
Everything from urgent news from Haiti's earthquake to fans of Justin Bieber have been donated to the world's largest archive.
Officially the research library of the US Congress in Washington DC, the Library of Congress holds more than 21 million books with a total of close to 142 million items, including maps and music.
The Library of Congress Facebook page posted in a casual tone: Have you ever sent out a "tweet" on the popular Twitter social media service? Congratulations: Your 140 characters or less will now be archived digitally in the Library of Congress.
Web-based materials have been collected by the Library since 2000, including presidential campaign websites, containing more than 167 terabytes of web information.
It also operates the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at www.digitalpreservation.gov for collecting digital content for future generations.
Examples of important tweets in the past few years include the first-ever tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (http://twitter.com/jack/status/20), President Obama's tweet about winning the 2008 election (http://twitter.com/barackobama/status/992176676), and tweets sent by a photojournalist who was arrested in Egypt and freed because due to his use of Twitter.