It looks like Twitter has started rolling out the option to let users download all their tweets — with some Twitter users reporting they are seeing an option to ‘request your archive’ appearing in their settings (h/t to TNW for spotting).
Twitter user Navjot Singh tweeted the following screengrab of the option as it appears on the Settings page of the Twitter web client — which states that users can request a file containing every tweet they’ve ever made, starting with the first one, and will be emailed a link to the file once it is ready for download
Another user @Psilosophy is also apparently able to see the option. I’ve checked my own Twitter account and the option does not appear so it’s presumably being rolled out in waves. We’ve reached out to Twitter for more on the rollout and will update this story with any response.
Twitter confirmed it was planning to add a download option for all tweets before the end of the year back in September when CEO Dick Costolo was asked about it at an Online News Association conference and said it would arrive before the end of the year. He reiterated this end of year promise last month — saying the download option would arrive in a matter of weeks, although he also said it was ultimately down to Twitter’s engineers to get the feature up and running.
Last month Costolo said: “By the end of the year I’ve already promised this, so the engineers – when I promised it publicly they’re already mad at me so they can keep being mad at me. Now, again, once again, I caveat this with the engineers who are actually doing the work don’t necessarily agree that they’ll be done by the end of the year, but we’ll just keep having that argument and we’ll see where we end up year-end.”
The move brings Twitter up to date with other web companies that allow users to access the data they have contributed to a service. Google has offered data download features to its online services for a long time, with a dedicated data liberation group set up to allow users to extract data in ‘an open, interoperable, portable format’ from services such as Google Docs and Gmail. Facebook also offers an option to users to download some of their data.
Twitter’s interface has also made it difficult for users to view/browse through older tweets, without spending ages clicking back through their chronology of tweets — something that should be much easier to do once all your tweets sit within a single file.
Update: Twitter user @kessler can also access the option to download his Twitter back-catalogue and has sent in the following series of screengrabs to illustrate the process — including showing the look of the finished archive, once downloaded (bottom)
The Twitter index html file of archived tweets includes a chart indicating the user’s monthly Twitter activity for every year they’ve been using the service. Looking at @kessler’s chart (below) it shows a marked different in the quantity of tweets sent in the first year he joined Twitter (2007) — when he apparently sent relatively few tweets per month — compared to all the years since, although 2008 and 2009 appear to be his most prolific years for tweeting.