Twitter nows lets users search for every public tweet since the service was launched in 2006, the company announced via blog post on Tuesday. This capability was a long time coming, and was no doubt made more difficult as Twitter’s use began to grow in the past couple years.
The post goes into a lot of detail about how Twitter built its new historical search index, but the main challenges are obvious to anyone who has followed the evolution of Twitter’s infrastructure (or Facebook’s, Google’s or any other large web service’s infrastructure) over the years — speed, scale and cost. According to the post, the full search index now includes “roughly half a trillion documents” and “is more than 100 times larger than our real-time index and grows by several billion Tweets a week.”
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