What Will You Find When You Download Your Twitter Archive?

4 years ago

I was recently reading this post from BlogHer’s Blogging and Social Media editor, Melissa Ford, about backing up your social media content, which said one of the things you should do to protect yourself is download all of your tweets. Did you know you could do that?

Image: © Soeren Stache/DPA/ZUMAPRESS.com

If you’ve ever tried to gather historical data on Twitter then you know it has been like squeezing blood out of a turnip; sometimes you could go back a week, sometimes a few months, or sometimes just a day. Pulling data was inconsistent and Twitter analytics have been a struggle for me and people who work in social media, as well as frustrating for bloggers who want to find old tweets to prove a point and win an argument.  

I mean, hypothetically.

While this isn’t the answer to my analytical prayers, back in December, Twitter made it easier to explore your archives and keep a copy for yourself.  It's not only important backup for any social media user, it's hours of entertainment.

There was my first tweet:

There was evidence that I had too much fun at BlogHer ’09:

And why I always tell everyone who comes to a conference that the first thing they should pack is a comfortable pair of shoes:

There were many, many Ambien tweets:

There were everyday moments that I never want to forget for blackmail purposes:

And there were moments, no matter how sad, that hold special memories:

Much like Facebook’s Timeline, your Twitter archive is a glimpse back at what you’ve been up to over the past few years.  Twitter is more about capturing the moment. I loved seeing when I first met people, how nervous I was before my first speaking gig (for the record, it was at my church), and reliving the carpool to my first BlogHer, tweet by tweet.

If you want to download your Twitter archive, just follow these steps:

  • Log-in to Twitter.
  • Go to Settings.
  • Scroll down until you see Request Your Twitter Archive.
  • Twitter will send you an email after you make the request (my 18K tweets took about 30 seconds to archive).
  • Click the link in the email and then the Download button on the Twitter page.
  • You can save the file to your computer and either view your tweets as a spreadsheet, or you can right click on the Index portion of the Zip file and choose extract on the menu to get your archive in this form:

Will you download your Twitter archive? What did your first tweet say?

Diane (aka Momo) is the Social Media Manager for BlogHer. When she isn't tweeting, posting to LinkedIn, or pinning for the BlogHer Community of 55 million, Diane can be found blogging at Momo Fali, where she writes about her sports-fanatic husband, teen daughter and her special-needs son.

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