Twitter to allow users access to entire tweet history

Steven Loeb · July 24, 2012 · Short URL:

Users will only be able to see their own very first tweets, but not those put up by others

To be honest, I’ve never been much of a Twitter person. For whatever reason, I never really took to it. I find it to be kind of cold, and impersonal.

I am, though, kind of a Facebook junkie. And, one of the things I wanted to do for a long time was go back and revisit old posts. It would be like stepping back in time to see old friends long gone, conversations that seemed so important at the time that would be trivial now. It would be a trip to be able to see a version of myself at 18, and see how much I’ve changed since then.

Fortunately for me, I got that chance when Facebook recently introduced its timeline feature, though there were definitely some things missing. For all those Twitter lovers, though, they still had no official way to go and see their old Tweets.

Now it seems like that will be changing very soon.

Twitter users will have the ability to access and download their old tweets, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told the New York Times on Tuesday.

“We’re working on a tool to let users export all of their tweets,” Costolo said. “You’ll be able to download a file of them.”

Twitter may be one of the most popular social media websites, with over 140 million users, but in this respect it was behind both Facebook and Google, who have both already put out services to let their users access their own content.

Previously, in order for Twitter users to access the same information, they were forced to go through third-party platforms, such as oldtweets, BackupMyTweets or Beckism.

Facebook has the Download Your Information tool, while Google has Google Takeout, which “ allows you to download a copy of your data stored within Google products.”

So why did is Twitter introducing this feature now?

It seems that demand from the its thousands of users finally forced the website to finally devote some resources to giving them what they want.

While Costolo did not give a timeframe for when the official service would be available from Twitter, he also made sure to note that, while users would be able to go through their own history, they would not have access every tweet put out by every user.

“It’s two different search problems,” Costolo told the Times. “It’s a different way of architecting search, going through all tweets of all time. You can’t just put three engineers on it.”

Twitter was unavailable for comment.

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