How To Download Your Entire Twitter History

Most of us have sent out many thousands of Tweets, and while they tend to fall back into an out-of-sight history, it might be useful to export and view them in a better format than simply scrolling back page by page.

Twitter has a feature that lets you pull a complete archive of your Tweets, going back to day one. Better yet, it comes with a nice browser interface that lets you view Tweets grouped by month.

Ready to get your Twitter archive? Here’s how:

1. Request your Archive

Log into your Twitter account and go to the Settings page. At the bottom of the main settings interface, you’ll see a button to make your Request. Click it, and you’ll be informed that an email will be sent to you when the archive is ready.

Request Twitter Archive

2. Download your Archive

Just like it says, after a while an email arrives to let you know that your archive is ready for download.

Your Twitter Archive is ready for download

Go ahead and click Download!

The file you’ll download will be a zip file, and likely have a lengthy name (something like “876060i560c9177f053.zip”, but longer). Once the download is complete, locate the file, and unzip it.

3. Browse your Tweets!

Unzipping the file you downloaded will produce a single folder that contains all of the data, and additional files to assist you with viewing. Open the folder.

If you want to go straight to your Tweets, open the “index.html” file. You’re ready to start reviewing every Tweet you’ve ever sent on Twitter.

View Twitter Archive

For developers, or those who want to process their tweets with software, see the “README.txt” file and the “data” folder.

The possibilities for this kind of data are probably quite extensive. A quick search shows a number of sites offering to convert your Tweets into a book. If you have a Twitter archive that you need processed in a custom way, please contact me to see if I can help.

If you want to see more of my own Tweets, please follow me: @andrewhoyer

Twitter Is Not About Followers

For some time, I have seen a very bad attitude towards Twitter, which is that “If you don’t follow me, I’m not going to follow you”. I guess these people didn’t get the memo that Twitter isn’t Facebook. There is no guarantee or even requirement for reciprocal following. That’s not where Twitter’s strength lies.

Recently, I came across this blog post, that lists the top ten websites that let you unfollow those who don’t follow you back. How this benefits anyone, I have no idea.

What people should be focusing on are two things with their Twitter presence:

1. Find quality people to follow. Really when it comes down to it, the average user stands to gain much more from those they follow versus what they will be sending out or from those who follow them. Rather than unfollowing people who don’t follow you, concentrate on following people who provide you with great information you can use. On the same note, if you find people you follow who aren’t posting information useful to you, unfollow them. The more tidy your follower list is, the more you will get out of your Twitter account.

2. Send out a quality feed. There are many blog posts and websites that discuss how to make sure your own Twitter feed attractive to followers. The main point is, if you want someone to follow you, you need to give something back — and simply following them isn’t enough. Twitter isn’t a popularity contest — it’s about sharing information.

Have fun with Twitter, use it to promote yourself and gain valuable information, but don’t make it about followers. If that’s your goal, close your Twitter account and head back to the safety of Facebook.