Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

My Twitter archive

That was the first tweet that I posted, back on the 1st June 2007. I’ve waited quite some time to find out what that was, because Twitter hasn’t allowed users to view more than their previous 3,200 tweets, and to date I’ve tweeted more than 13,000 times.

Thankfully, Twitter Archives were finally announced in December last year, but the roll-out has been slow. It was only on Friday that a button appeared in my Twitter Settings that permitted me to request my archive appeared. I’d been checking at least every couple of days before then to see if it had appeared.

Shortly after you request the download (which was a couple of minutes in my case), you get an email with a download link. This downloads a zip file. Your tweets are presented in a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file, for importing into Excel for example, and as JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) for which there is an HTML file allowing you to view your tweets in a web browser.

The browser view resembles Twitter’s web site, and lets you search your tweets as well view tweets by month. It’ll even tell you how many times you tweeted in a given month: July 2007 was my quietest month with 10 tweets, and July 2011 was my busiest with 517 tweets. There’s a notable increase in my Twitter activity after September 2010 when I bought a smartphone.

Having shown my first tweet, here was my second:

No, me neither.

Early tweets don’t have clickable links; this was before Twitter introduced their own URL shortener around November 2010, so you have to copy and paste the URLs into the address bar to view them. It’s also odd seeing links being shortened with TinyURL which few people use nowadays.

Other than nostalgia, and ensuring you have your own backup of your tweets, there’s not a whole lot that you can do with a Twitter Archive right now. However, if you are a Timehop user like me, go to and upload your Twitter Archive so that you can get daily reminders of what you have tweeted over the years. I’m hoping that ThinkUp will support Twitter Archives in the next release as well, so that I can get an analysis of all of my tweets.

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