Who needs the Library of Congress now that Twitter has archives?

twitter archive

We recently heard that Twitter would begin rolling out an archive feature for select testing, but starting today Twitter is slowly introducing the option to everyone — and right in time for the New Year as CEO Dick Costolo promised users.

“Maybe you wanted to recall your reaction to the 2008 election, reminisce on what you said to your partner on your 10th anniversary, or just see your first few Tweets. We know lots of you would like to explore your Twitter past,” Twitter Product Owner for User Services Engineering, Mollie Vandor, wrote in a blog post. She adds that archiving was an idea that originated out of Twitter’s intra-company hackathon called Hack Weeks back in January of last year, although we all know that it was a highly requested feature since the original crop of first third-party archiving apps like TweetDownload appeared on the Web.

Now that the feature is official, users can relive their nostalgic moments without being restricted to downloading the first 3,200 tweets using these third-party apps. Users can download and explore every tweet that they’ve published since day one, including retweets. It’s as interesting as it is terrifying, we know. 

twitter archive request button

Although archiving was in a testing phase just days ago when it was first spotted in the wild, there are few if any changes to how the feature works compared to what we’ve described earlier. You can access it by navigating to your “Settings” and at the very bottom there will be a button labeled “Request your archive.” Once you click on this, you’ll be later prompted with an email from Twitter with instructions on how to access your archive once the download is ready.

Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see the feature right away, because Twitter is rolling out archiving first to a “small percentage of users whose language is set to English,” says Vandor. But in the coming weeks and months, archiving will be rolled out to all languages that Twitter currently supports.

Tweets will be viewable within a HTML page that you can open to view once you’ve received the email from Twitter. This makes it so that you can browse by keywords, phrases, hashtags, or @usernames. The tweets are broken down and viewable by the month of publishing. And what wasn’t reported before was that in this HTML page, you can interact with the tweets like you would normally. So retweeting, replying, and favoriting are all supported in the archive. While you’re viewing your tweets in this HTML page, you’ll also be able to back up your tweets in a .zip file that can be store on your computer for safe keeping and posterity’s sake.


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