WASHINGTON — The Library of Congress announced on Tuesday that it will no longer catalog every public tweet in its archives, citing the increased volume — and recently, the character limits — of tweets since the project began in 2010.
Twitter gifted the Library with an archive of every public tweet from its launch in 2006 through 2010. Since then, the Library has continued to receive most tweets from Twitter -- missing are images, videos and any linked content. The Library explained that tweets are "often more visual than textual, limiting the value of text-only collecting."
In a white paper explaining the decision, the Library mainly cited Twitter's growth and evolution since 2010. "The volume of tweets and related transactions has evolved and increased dramatically since the initial agreement was signed," the Library said. "Twitter is expanding the size of tweets beyond what was originally described at the beginning of effort."
So beginning Jan. 1, the Library will be more selective in which tweets it collects and files away.
"After this time, the Library will continue to acquire tweets but will do so on a very selective basis under the overall guidance provided in the Library’s Collections Policy Statements and associated documents. Generally, the tweets collected and archived will be thematic and event-based, including events such as elections, or themes of ongoing national interest, e.g. public policy."