Why is there less metadata in older historical Twitter?

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Twitter has changed...a lot. Although Sifter can reach back to the earliest Jack Dorsey Tweets, at least the undeleted ones, it cannot change the fact that Twitter created a very different stream of metadata over time. As the platform evolved, so too did the metadata attached to a Tweet. 

Some good resources:

The Basics (for historical reference, now obsolete)

http://support.gnip.com/apis/historical_api/

The PowerTrack Operators

https://developer.twitter.com/en/docs/tweets/filter-realtime/overview/powertrack-api

New Gnip PowerTrack 2.0 Rules & Filtering

https://developer.twitter.com/en/docs/tweets/rules-and-filtering/overview/premium-operators

The Caveats (for historical reference, now obsolete)

http://support.gnip.com/apis/historical_api/overview.html#Caveats

 

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