Twitter Needs To Let You Backup Your Tweets

Remember the Mikeyy virus? That was an exciting couple of weekends, but it didn’t actually do much harm. The thing is, viruses tend to get worse, not better, and one of these days something nasty is going to hit Twitter… hard.

Let’s say this new virus doesn’t post cheeky messages – instead, it deletes tweets. It deletes your tweets. All of them. One day your timeline is there, the next, it’s gone. Your account was registered two years ago, and you have a vague recollection of doing over 10,000 updates, but for everybody who looks at your Twitter profile post-virus, you’ve done and said nothing.

Or what if Twitter has a really bad day and accidentally erases a whole bunch of accounts? Thousands and thousands of them, one of which is yours?

I touched upon this a little in my article about tweet ownership, but the reality now is that if something happens on Twitter that results in your account getting wiped – and this includes Twitter closing your account for a TOS breach – you’re stuffed. Even if you’re backing up your tweets using one of the very crude external options available, and saving them to an Excel spreadsheet or whatever, there’s absolutely no way to get those tweets back on to Twitter. Restoration is kind of the point of a backup.

Here’s what I propose:

  1. Twitter allows you to backup your tweets. This can be done manually when you choose, or scheduled for any or multiple points over the week/month.
  2. This data can also be saved to your HD for another layer of security.
  3. If the worst happens – and history tells us that one day it probably will – and your account is nuked, you can easily restore your timeline with your backup.

If backups had to be stored locally on your hard drive then this could be done with no data space cost to Twitter. The thing is, even if this was a premium feature it would be very useful for lots of power-users and those who value their contributions to the network. You know, people like you.

Moreover, if Twitter decides you’ve breached their TOS and closes your account, you’d at least have access to your data. Maybe a rival service will spring up that allows you to import your tweets to them. Maybe that’s why Twitter doesn’t offer this feature.

It doesn’t matter – we need this. Otherwise, when Mikeyy’s big brother comes along and starts chomping on your tweets like Pac-Man, it’s very much a case of bad luck. Your bad luck. Twitter will be just fine.