Coming Soon (Well, Maybe): All Those Tweets You Wrote

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told The New York Times that users will soon be able to access and download all of their old tweets. Twitter currently only lets users browse back through a few thousand of their old tweets.

How soon? Costolo declined to give a timeline.

Other third-party platforms already offer these servies. Facebook’s Download Your Information and Google Takeout have given data archival access to their users for some time now. While they are older than Twitter, the latter is still lagging far behind its peers in data portability.

“We’re working on a tool to let users export all of their tweets,” Mr. Costolo said in a meeting with reporters and editors at The New York Times on Monday. “You’ll be able to download a file of them.”

It wasn’t as big of a deal when Twitter had fewer users who hadn’t posted in such massive numbers. But now Twitter has over 140 million users, many of which have posted tens of thousands of times.

The demand for this function has been manifested in the creation of sites like oldtweets, which lets users search through some gems (and many, many boring tweets) from Twitter’s first year.

Costolo added that while the tool will let users look through all of their own old posts, they are not working on a tool to browse every tweet ever.

“It’s two different search problems,” he said. “It’s a different way of architecting search, going through all tweets of all time. You can’t just put three engineers on it.”

I wonder how many engineers worked on the original stream.