Twitter has announced a new tool that lets users download, save, and search through every tweet they’ve uttered since the day they joined Twitter. This is a big deal. Historically, the microblogging site has been stingy with its tweet records.
PeopleBrowsr came close to creating a full archive in May 2012, when the social analytics company released an API that could surface Twitter records going all the way back to 2008. Intended for business use, the suite of tools pulled data from the Firehose, which contains tweets from all users.
When Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said in a presentation at the University of Michigan in November that the company would have downloadable records by the end of the year, people didn’t believe it.
But he’s made good on his promise. The engineering team built the technology during one of its quarterly Hack Weeks and is slowly making it available to everyone, starting with English-speaking users.
That’s a lot of characters — Twitter reports that its users spew forth one billion tweets every two-and-a-half days.
Explained Twitter’s Mollie Vandor in a blog post:
Today, we’re introducing the ability to download your Twitter archive, so you’ll get all your Tweets (including Retweets) going back to the beginning. Once you have your Twitter archive, you can view your Tweets by month, or search your archive to find Tweets with certain words, phrases, hashtags or @usernames. You can even engage with your old Tweets just as you would with current ones.
Twitter’s archives go back “to the beginning” — which would be 2006 — and they’re aimed at the average user, one account at a time. (But that’s not to say that they couldn’t offer these insights to businesses as well.)
Readers: You’ll find the archives tool in your account settings. Not everyone has it just yet.
Image by Astronoman via Shutterstock.