Starting 2018, the US Library of Congress, the de facto national library of the country will start archiving only selected tweets on the basis of their significance. According to CNET, the move makes sense given the increase in tweet volume since 2016 and the new 280-character limit also pushes up the storage needs.
In a white paper issued, the library said, “The Library has decided to change its collection strategy for receipt of tweets on December 31, 2017. “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,” the white paper said. The Library will also engage with Twitter to resolve issues associated with managing transactions that generate deletions of tweets and user access issues.
The Library continuously reviews its ongoing acquisitions, whether subscriptions to newspapers or the receipt of tweets via a gift. Due to this, the Library said that its initial Twitter collection “will consist of a twelve-year snapshot of the beginning of one of social media’s most important and transformative communication tools”.