Twitter has apparently started rolling out a feature promised by the microblogging service earlier this year that allows its users to archive their tweets on their computers.
The move comes amid growing competition in the social media landscape. Facebook has had archiving features available to its members for some time. In April, it expanded its Download Your Information feature to include names you’ve used, friend requests you’ve made and IP addresses you’ve used to access the social network.
An early sighting of the Twitter feature has been made by Twitter member “Psanta,” who says that if the feature is enabled on your account, you’ll find it at the bottom of your settings page. He explains, however, that it’s being gradually rolled out by Twitter and not available to everyone yet. It was not available on my Twitter account.
Another Twitter member, Navjot Singh, also saw the feature enabled on his account. After choosing the option in his settings, he was sent an email message with instructions on what to do to obtain his archive. According to The Next Web, which obtained a copy of the email, Twitter told Singh:
“We’re happy to let you know that the archive you requested is now available for download. Your archive may contain sensitive content. So please keep that in mind before sharing it with anyone.”
Below the message was a download link to Singh’s archive file.
Singh, who apparently doesn’t have any sensitive information in his archive file, sent a copy of it to Next Web writer Martin Bryant, who confirmed it was HTML file with the archive laid out similar to a Twitter page. Your tweets are organized by month and you can search them, too.
The Next Web confirmed the roll out with a second source — a Korean translator who was assigned the task by Twitter to translate a message advising its members of the new archiving feature. That message said:
“You can request a file containing your information, starting with your first Tweet. A link will be emailed to you when the file is ready to be downloaded.”
Earlier this year, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed that his microblogging service was working on an archiving feature and that it would be ready at the end of the year.
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John Mello writes on technology and cyber security for a number of online publications and is former managing editor of the Boston Business Journal and Boston Phoenix. Disclosure: He also writes for Hewlett-Packad's marketing website TechBeacon.