According to reports that came out of ONA12, Twitter’s Dick Costello said you should be able to download your Twitter publishing history before the end of this year, assuming it fits in with the developer roadmap.
The idea has caught a lot of flack from people who assume (perhaps rightly) that it will only be what each account has published that will be downloadable and not the conversations and other meta-data, including Retweets, that are associated with and happened as a result of those updates. That’s a legitimate concern and there’s a lot of valuable information that could be missing or, worse, lost.
What concerns me more is that the format these are available in won’t allow them to be imported into any other platform. If, for instance, I want to take them and put them into a WordPress or Tumblr blog that can be searched and archived I probably won’t be able to. That’s an assumption I’m basing on Twitter’s recent moves to restrict access to its’ API, including their cutting off Tumblr and Instagram from searching people’s Twitter contacts. The company, it seems, thinks that this sort of restriction will make those other platforms less attractive and therefore convince people to spend their limited social publishing time on Twitter instead of elsewhere.
Regardless of those concerns, I am excited to have an archive of my Twitter updates. I’m a completist and like having everything I’ve written tucked away under my control in some form. I wish I had archives of my contributions to MarketingVox, AdJab and the other sites I’ve written for. It’s an exciting prospect for me, not because I want to go back and revisit just how witty I’ve been in 140 characters. But because they represent in some way how things – my interests, my thinking, the industry in general – have evolved over the last several years.