A syndicated data feed of all the tweets sent – an estimated 500 million tweets a day – which Twitter’s data partners pay to get access to. Gaining access to the Twitter fire hose, or firehose, means gaining access to that feed.
The data companies charge customers for analysis of the feed, from tracking trends in real time to analysing consumer sentiment towards particular products or advertising campaigns.
Access is usually granted on a scaled commercial basis with applicants being charged a certain amount for a access to a certain percentage of the fire hose. Nonetheless, improvements in big data analysis have ensured that there is growing demand from social media analytics companies for access to the fire hose.
fire hose in the news
In October 2013 a report looked at the increasing interest in Twitter from traders. The idea was that market moving gossip can be ‘heard’ by applying computer filters to key words in the Twitter fire hose, or data feed. The report pointed out that other attempts to use Twitter to point to market sentiment had been less successful. In London, Derwent Capital set up the first Twitter hedge fund in 2011, hoping to mine mood statement data, but quietly closed it again a month later.
In December 2013 it was reported that Apple had acquired Topsy Labs, a social media analytics company, in a deal thought to be aimed at improving its advertising services.