Twitter has partnered with data firm Datasift to unlock the vast archive of user tweets made since 2010, allowing firms to access them for market research purposes. Firms can search tweets back to January 2010 in order to plan marketing campaigns, target influential users or even try to predict certain events. Until today, only the previous 30 days of tweets were available for companies to search. Regular users can access posts from the past seven days.
Access to the archive has been billed as a way for companies to harness discussion online to predict future events such as mass protests - as seen during the Arab Spring - or the rise and fall of stock prices.
The cost to businesses will depend on the company's size, with Datasift's entry-level package costing £635 ($1,000) per month for "individuals or developers".
UK-based Datasift is the first company to offer the archive.
Its existing customers will be able to use access "historical" tweets from today, the company said.
The company takes in roughly 250 million tweets every 24 hours, all of which are analysed for content - such as whether they were said in a positive or negative tone.
The software will also log location data and social media influence based in part on existing influence monitoring service Klout.
Private accounts and tweets that have been deleted will not be indexed by the site.
Datasift said they have seen a lot of demand for the product - with almost 1,000 companies joining a waiting list to access the service.
Twitter, which has been steadily building various revenue streams, will earn money from Datasift as part of a licensing fee.