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July 25, 2012

Twitter is Creating a Tool for Downloading All of Your Old Tweets

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

Sometimes after imbibing a few too many refreshing adult beverages, people feel moved to share their inebriation with others. Some revelers start dialing old girlfriends on their telephones while others take the party to social media sites.

Now, instead of asking “What did I tweet last night?” you may soon be able to review all of your old tweets, both the clever ones that you’ve celebrated and the drunken tweets you’d prefer to forget.

Twitter (News - Alert) CEO Dick Costolo recently told The New York Times that his company is developing a tool that will allow users to review all of their old tweets. “We’re working on a tool to let users export all of their tweets,” Mr. Costolo said. “You’ll be able to download a file of them.”

Facebook (News - Alert) already allows its users to download a file containing all of their old data. Twitter does not have a proprietary service yet, but third-party developers including “oldtweets” have created programs that allow users to read the first chirps from Twitter starting around 2006.

Some oldtweets topics, said the Times, included “Chatting with friends on MySpace (News - Alert)” and “Returning movies to Blockbuster.”

Of course, reviewing old tweets isn’t just about erasing the interpersonal damage that took place while you were inebriated. Businesses may use the backlog tool to review successful Twitter campaigns while news organizations may archive their tweets to record events that made compelling breaking news.

Costolo stated that while each person may soon be able to download a file of their own Twitter history, searching the entire site for everyone’s old tweets might not be feasible. “It’s two different search problems,” he said. “It’s a different way of architecting search, going through all tweets of all time. You can’t just put three engineers on it.”

That’s good news if you have ever tweeted something that you wish had never seen the light of day.


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Edited by Braden Becker
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