Twitter has opened up its servers, and its wallet to researchers over at MIT's Media Lab, in order to get some insights into tweets. The social network has provided $10 million, and every single public tweet ever posted for 'research'.
The researchers are working under the title "Laboratory of Social Machines" and has access to Twitter's "fire hose" of live public tweets, as well as every single tweet posted since the social network first opened back in 2006. With Twitter's, and the public's raw data, the MIT researchers hope to "create new platforms for both individuals and institutions to identify, discuss, and act on pressing societal problems".
The goals of the MIT group aren't exactly clear right now, but it looks like they are concentrating on the consensus of social media platforms like Twitter, where it can be incredibly hard to draw conclusions from hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of differing opinions. The Laboratory of Social Machines explains: "Pattern discovery and data visualization will be explored to reveal interaction patterns and shared interests in relevant social systems, collaborative tools and mobile apps will be developed to enable new forms of public communication and social organization".