Twitter invests $10 million in MIT social media lab

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Twitter is giving every tweet on its network to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, as well as a $10 million investment, to create a hub to better learn how to understand and use social networks.

The Laboratory for Social Machines (LSM) will “focus on the development of new technologies to make sense of semantic and social patterns across the broad span of public mass media, social media, data streams, and digital content,” according to an MIT press release.

One of the major goals of the LSM will be to invent new platforms for individuals and institutions to identify, discuss, and manage pressing societal problems.

“Social feedback loops based on analysis of public media and data can be an effective catalyst for increasing accountability and transparency,” said Deb Roy, associate professor at the Media Lab and also Twitter’s chief media scientist.

The new research group will be able to access to the full firehose of real-time Twitter data, as well as the exhaustive archive of existing tweets dating back to the first one in 2006, as GigaOM writes.

Twitter chief Dick Costolo says on the partnership: “With this investment, Twitter is seizing the opportunity to go deeper into research to understand the role Twitter and other platforms play in the way people communicate, the effect that rapid and fluid communication can have and apply those findings to complex societal issues.”

MIT goes on to say students and staff will focus on many social media and mass media platforms, including, but not limited to, Twitter.

Twitter membership has soared incredibly in the past year. This chart shows how, in the second quarter 2014, the microblogging service averaged at 271 million monthly active users. At the beginning of the 2013, Twitter surpassed 200 million MAU per quarter.



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