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Twitter – Get All Your Tweets In One Archive

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twitter archive old tweets downloadTwitter is addictive. Can you remember your first tweet? I was so thankful that mine wasn’t one of those ‘Trying out this Twitter thingy’ tweets. You know, the one that is  almost like making a good entrance. Well just how do you go about getting your Twitter Archive?

Finally they have made this really easy to do. I mean, there have been many services out there that offer to get your past tweets, but due to an API limitation, you were only able to get back the last 2,500 tweets from Twitter.

Twitter – The Anatomy of a Tweet

Surely Twitter has to have all your tweets stored somewhere on a backup or something? Well you’re right. They do and now you can go and download them. But first, lets have a look at linking to a specific tweet. On your Twitter timeline, notice the date (expressed in hours for recent tweets) in the top right corner of your tweet?

dirk strauss tweet example

If you click on that, you will be taken to another page where you will see the tweet as an individual post.

embed tweet link twitter

As you probably already know, you can embed the Tweet from this page easily by clicking on the ‘more’ link. But what is even more interesting is the URL in your browser window. It should look something like this.

twitter tweet direct link

Do you notice that GUID behind the status part of the URL at the end? Well that makes this link unique and pasting that URL into your browser will take you directly to this tweet. So with this in mind, lets go to the Twitter Archive.

Twitter Archive

Click on your Twitter Properties. This is the Gear icon located at the top right of your screen. Click on the Settings menu option.

twitter profile settings

Once the settings page has loaded, you should already be in your Account Tab. At the very bottom of your account settings, you will see the option to download your Twitter tweet archive.

twitter request tweet archive

Depending on how addicted you are to Twitter, your tweet archive might be quite sizeable. Within several minutes, you will receive an email with a link to your Twitter archive.

Twitter Archive Contents

Now don’t be fooled into thinking that the archive is only a text file with all your tweets. Twitter went to great lengths to ensure that you have an awesome experience with this too. Clicking on the index.html file will open your entire Twitter history of tweets inside your browser. There is also a data folder that contains your Twitter history in two formats: JSON and CSV exports by month and year.

twitter tweet history per year

The Twitter archive also gives you a visual overview of your tweet activity by year. So lets go way back to 2009 when I first started this Twitter ‘thingy’ and see if we can view my first tweet.

twitter history first tweet.

Hover over the year and month that shows the first tweet activity. You can see that in June 2009, I wasn’t very active on Twitter. Clicking on the month will load all your tweets for that month. Then all you need to do is scroll down to the oldest date and voilà, your first tweet.

twitter first tweet view

This now allows you to view it on Twitter. You will notice the same unique link that we saw above. This link can now be embedded in a blog post should you wish. So here is my first tweet ever, embedded in this article:

Incidentally, I did quit smoking without the help of Allen Carr. I had my last cigarette on the 10th of June 2009 and simply went cold turkey. I guess that makes my smoker-less life coincide with my time on Twitter. Oohrah!

Reference: Josh Benson, Digital Trends

Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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  • julianranger

    Dirk,

    An easier way to do this, and one which gives you updates hourly/daily/weekly on a schedule you set, is to use SOcialSafe- http://socialsafe.net. It not only gets your tweets, but your mentions, DM, Favourites, Followers, Following too and supports many other social networks and blogs.

    • Dirk Strauss

      Hey Julian

      SocialSafe is a nice service and has many features that would appeal to many people on Social Media. For the person that simply wants their Tweet archive, the above method is probably the way to go seeing as it is free and the generated archive of tweets are formatted in a great way for the user to view and search.

      Unfortunately, users that just want their Twitter archive probably wont want to subscribe to a 12-month SocialSafe license at $6.99. Lastly, the pricing page defaults to the more expensive, 10 Social Network account which is $16.99. I feel that this page needs to default to the entry package of the 4 Social Network account and that the selected package should be more clearly highlighted on the pricing page.

      Having said that, I get the feeling that SocialSafe is not geared to the average Social Media user, but more to businesses or marketing companies because of the lack of a free, limited functionality version of the product.

      • julianranger

        Dirk – thanks for your comments. Re our audience, we are very much targeted to the average Social Media User. You can get a full 2 month trial with no limitations and at the end of the trial can continue to see your data and export it whether you subscribe or not. However, if you want to continue using the full functionality then I hope you agree that $6.99 a year is not a lot for what we offer – full sync of 4 networks, display, search, insights and more – and of course we keep up to date with API changes and release new features regularly. We have strived to keep the price as low as possible and we are very much lower than other comparable services which charge about that amount monthly, not yearly.
        If of course all you want is your tweets then yes SocialSafe would not be for you, but I suspect most people who recognise the value in their past Tweets will also want all their Twitter data and their other network data.
        I take you point on the default pricing and we’ll reconsider this.
        Finally, with regard to “free limited functionality version” we did try this back in 2011/12, but this approach has major limitations – you don’t get to appreciate what the full product will do for you. If you want to drive a Bentley, you don’t test drive a Ford. We prefer to let users experience the full product for an extended free period and hope that the experience will make the value apparent.
        Cheers, Jules

        • Dirk Strauss

          Julian – I do agree with you that $6.99 a year is really very little. Even $16.99 a year for the 10 Social Network account isn’t much to pay. Obviously as you say, for the rich feature set provided, the cost to the user is minimal considering other similar online services. Thank you for your comments and feedback!

          • julianranger

            Dirk – please have a look at http://socialsafe.net/pricing – we have taken on board your comment and changed the default pricing to the SocialSafe 4 account and made clearer on the green bar what you are paying based on what you select. Thank you for prompting this change. Jules

          • Dirk Strauss

            Hey Julian

            The pricing page looks really nice. What the user pays is really clear from the get go. It is proof that you folks take customers (even potential customers) into consideration. Well done and kudos to everyone at SocialSafe.

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