When we introduced the next generation of the Twitter API in July 2020, we also shared our plans to invest in the success of the academic research community with tailored solutions that better serve their goals. Today, we’re excited to launch the Academic Research product track on the new Twitter API.
Why we’re launching this & how we got here
Since the Twitter API was first introduced in 2006, academic researchers have used data from the public conversation to study topics as diverse as the conversation on Twitter itself - from state-backed efforts to disrupt the public conversation to floods and climate change, from attitudes and perceptions about COVID-19 to efforts to promote healthy conversation online. Today, academic researchers are one of the largest groups of people using the Twitter API.
Our developer platform hasn’t always made it easy for researchers to access the data they need, and many have had to rely on their own resourcefulness to find the right information. Despite this, for over a decade, academic researchers have used Twitter data for discoveries and innovations that help make the world a better place.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve taken iterative steps to improve the experience for researchers, like when we launched a webpage dedicated to Academic Research, and updated our Twitter Developer Policy to make it easier to validate or reproduce others’ research using Twitter data.
We’ve also made improvements to help academic researchers use Twitter data to advance their disciplines, answer urgent questions during crises, and even help us improve Twitter. For example, in April 2020, we released the COVID-19 stream endpoint - the first free, topic-based stream built solely for researchers to use data from the global conversation for the public good. Researchers from around the world continue to use this endpoint for a number of projects.
Over two years ago, we started our own extensive research to better understand the needs, constraints and challenges that researchers have when studying the public conversation. In October 2020, we tested this product track in a private beta program where we gathered additional feedback. This gave us a glimpse into some of the important work that the free Academic Research product track we’re launching today can now enable.
“The Academic Research product track gives researchers a window into understanding the use of Twitter and social media at large, and is an important step by Twitter to support the scientific community.”
- Dr. Sarah Shugars, Assistant Professor at New York University
“Twitter's enhancements for academic research have the potential to eliminate many of the bottlenecks that scholars confront in working with Twitter's API, and allow us to better evaluate the impact and origin of trends we discover.”
- Dr. David Lazer, Professor at Northeastern University
What’s launching today
With the new Academic Research product track, qualified researchers will have access to all v2 endpoints released to date, as well as:
- Free access to the full history of public conversation via the full-archive search endpoint, which was previously limited to paid premium or enterprise customers
- Higher levels of access to the Twitter developer platform for free, including a significantly higher monthly Tweet volume cap of 10 million (20x higher than what’s available on the Standard product track today)
- More precise filtering capabilities across all v2 endpoints to limit data collection to what is relevant for your study and minimize data cleaning requirements
- New technical and methodological guides to maximize the success of your studies
The release of the Academic Research product track is just a starting point. This initial solution is intended to address the most requested, biggest challenges faced when conducting research on the platform. We are excited to enable even more research that can create a positive impact on the world, and on Twitter, in the future.
For more in-depth details about what’s available, see our post on the Twitter community forum.
Where do I start?
To use this track, new and existing Twitter developers will need to apply for access with the Academic Research application.