Dataminr is an analytics company that draws trends from social networks for various business clients, and today it revealed a partnership with Twitter that grants it access to over 340 million tweets a day — data points that will be used to create what the company calls "one of the earliest warning systems for breaking news and emerging events." The company claimed last year that the technology had relayed news of Osama Bin Laden's death to its clients before the story had been reported by major media outlets. The use of Twitter for breaking news in recent years has grown both for firsthand users of the service and even for general audiences through broadcast outlets like CNN — and Dataminr joins other companies already using big data from Twitter.
Dataminr says that in recent days, it has provided information to clients that "ranged from an assassination attempt on a high-ranking Arab leaders in Tajikistan, to a tsunami warning in Chile, to panic-buying of fuel by the UK public" — and that its reports hit before major news outlets picked them up. The company also says that it can detect quick or long-term changes in almost any topic, including local chatter, reactions to consumer products, changes in discussion in niche communities, and patterns in public attention.