Twitter provided Academic Data Grants to academic institutions. For example, Twitter provided a collection of 2 billion tweets from May 2009 and October 2010 and 1.8 billion tweets collected from August 2011 to November 2012 to Johns Hopkins to track flu infections.
Prospective participating researchers were asked to submit a proposal via the Twitter Data Grants website. For the initial pilot, a small number of proposals were selected to receive free datasets via Gnip, Twitter's commercial data reseller partner. In addition to the data, selected institutions were also offered the opportunity to collaborate with Twitter engineers and researchers.
The Twitter Data Grants program aims to ease the access to Twitter's vast dataset of tweets for researchers who can glean important insights by analyzing historical tweets.