Twitter Introduces New Endpoint in the Fight Against COVID-19

Twitter has added a new Endpoint to Twitter Developer Labs to help developers and researchers better study the global conversation around COVID-19. The endpoint is a dataset that includes the tens of millions of Tweets about the global pandemic that make there way through the Twittersphere every day. Because Twitter carries such large traffic on the subject, the company sees it as having a responsibility to help facilitate the conversation in a responsible and solution-oriented way.

In a blog post announcement, Twitter laid out a number of use cases for the new endpoint including:

  • Researching the spread of the disease
  • Understanding the spread of misinformation
  • Crisis management, emergency response, and communication within communities
  • Developing Machine Learning and data tools that can help the scientific community answer key questions about COVID-19
  • And many others that we’ll look to our community to help us understand

Specifically, the endpoint includes a realtime, full-fidelity stream of public Tweets related to COVID-19 and Coronavirus. The Tweets are delivered as they are created. The dataset does not include private data or protected Tweets. There are no data volume or throughput limits. Developers are limited to 200 connection attempts each 15-minute interval, and one connection per partition.

Although this data is potentially useful, Twitter is not deaf to the potential for misuse. Misinformation remains a constant problem in the battle to combat COVID-19. Accordingly, the endpoint is not open to everyone. Interested developers must apply for access through the Twitter COVID-19 Data Application. Access will be limited to those with approved developer accounts, a demonstrated experience working with Twitter data, a clear plan to process and use the data, non-commercial use, public good purposes, and compliance with Twitter's developer terms and restricted use policies.

Be sure to read the next COVID-19 article: Apple and Google Roll Out Initial Contact Tracing API for COVID-19