Topsy is Twitter Search Without an Expiration

Romin Irani, September 1st, 2010

TopsyWith Twitter reducing its search history to four days,  it is a challenge for applications that are dependent on search results, that went not days but even months back. Several applications have taken on the challenge to fill this void and are building search indexes on top of Twitter. Topsy is one of them and it’s sharing its results as an API.

Topsy just indexed its 5 billionth Tweet, so it is giving developers access to a lot of data. The Otter API is a REST-based interface to the Topsy Search Engine. Topsy, which claims to be the largest searchable index of content posted on Twitter, is driven by an architecture that spans a cluster of 500 servers and a petabyte of data. It ranks links, photos and tweets by the number and quality of the tweets.


The Otter API makes available to developers some fairly interesting data that has been mined by Topsy. You can find users who have mentioned a term, or look for experts on a particular topic. Topsy’s author influence is used to sorts results.

The entire set of Otter API Resources provides a developer, interesting indexes to search for. For example, if I wanted to find out the experts on Mongo DB, I can use the /experts resource of the Otter API. There’s no API Key required, so you can dive right in. Here’s the Mongo DB example:

Topsy is one of 54 Twitter-derived APIs, which includes 5 Twitter search APIs. We wrote about how Twitter is giving birth to APIs in April, when there were only 43 Twitter APIs.

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3 Responses to “Topsy is Twitter Search Without an Expiration”

September 3rd, 2010
at 4:04 pm
Comment by: Blog Interviewer

arrington: RT @jain_ankit: good entrepreneur interview by ……

We’ve linked to you on . Could you put a link back to us?…

March 13th, 2011
at 1:03 am
Comment by: ProgrammableWeb – My Articles – September 2010 » iRomin

[...] Topsy is Twitter Search Without an Expiration [...]

March 3rd, 2012
at 1:09 am
Comment by: Finally we get social – How we created our first Twitter dashboard | The FusionCharts Blog

[...] and Twittercounter. Out of these, Topsy has the most exhaustive data, and is rightfully called as Twitter search without an expiration date. However, even in a marketplace buzzing with Twitter APIs, we could not get our hands on the [...]

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