It’s by no means a foul time to again up your information. However for Twitter customers, it’s arguably extra pressing than ordinary, what with the platform’s current … unpredictability. Mass firings and resignations, whiplash coverage adjustments and crippled infrastructure don’t instill a ton of confidence that Twitter will stay steady effectively into the distant future. That’s why it’s value contemplating archiving your account for posterity.
Twitter’s lengthy supplied a software for archiving account information, which at current permits you to copy your information in a machine-readable format that’s transportable to a choose few different providers. However whereas the software works effectively for easy backups, the archives it creates aren’t notably person pleasant. There isn’t an apparent option to shortly set up the tens to 1000’s of tweets an archive may comprise, for example, or drill down inside an archive for particular sorts of tweets and embedded media.
Happily, because of the open supply group, there’s freely out there instruments for individuals who want to train extra management over their Twitter archives. They don’t subvert Twitter’s archive request course of — you’ll want an account archive straight from Twitter to make use of lots of the instruments — however they make working with Twitter archives much less painful whereas increasing the archives’ usefulness, no less than in principle.
Word that not the entire instruments are essentially simple to make use of for non-developers. Many require information of Python and different programming languages, and any software that accesses Twitter’s API wants keys from a Twitter Developer account. (Disclaimer: Don’t present instruments entry to your account if you happen to don’t absolutely belief them.) However the instruments on the very least present fundamental setup directions to assist novices rise up and operating.
Managing and viewing Twitter archives
Maybe probably the most complete of the bunch is the Twitter Archive Parser, which goals to repair and/or work round a number of the extra egregious flaws in Twitter’s archiving system (e.g., shortening hyperlinks, storing tweets in a posh code construction, and so on.) The software converts tweets and even direct messages into markdown, the markup language supported by most content material administration programs and editors, and in addition HTML — full with embedded photographs, movies and hyperlinks.
The Twitter Archive Parser goes past the Twitter archiver’s barebones performance to interchange shortened URLs with their authentic variations, copy tweeted photographs to a folder (for simpler sorting), output lists of followers and other people you’re following and obtain photographs of their authentic sizes. (By default, Twitter’s archiver swaps out full-sized photographs in tweets for smaller ones.)
If a extra user-friendly archive viewing expertise is all you’re after, nonetheless, Twitter Archive Browser matches the invoice. It shows your whole Twitter timeline going again to the very first Tweet and allows you to browse direct message historical past offline. As you’d count on, Twitter Archive Browser will stay utterly useful within the occasion you delete your Twitter account, exhibiting any media you’ve uploaded together with photographs and movies.
Extracting URLs, exporting bookmarks and deleting tweets
One other Python-based software, Taupe, is extra restricted in its capabilities than, say, Twitter Archive Parser. However it does precisely what it advertises: extracts the URLs of your tweets, retweets, replies, quote tweets and “likes” from a private Twitter archive. (Taupe is a unfastened acronym for “Twitter archive URL parser”).
Taupe takes a Twitter archive, extracts the URLs comparable to the tweets, retweets and such, and outputs the ends in a spreadsheet format that can be utilized with different software program and providers, resembling Web Archive’s Wayback Machine. Whereas Taupe has limitations — for instance, as a result of the Twitter archive format for “likes” doesn’t comprise a timestamp, Taupe can’t know or present precisely when particular person tweets have been preferred — it’s one of many easiest methods to shortly convert historic Twitter information right into a extra useable format.
As a complement to Taupe, there’s the self-descriptive Export your Twitter Bookmarks software, which saves all of your Twitter bookmarks — together with pictures and movies and absolutely expanded URLs hooked up to tweets — in a markdown file. (Twitter archives don’t embrace bookmarked tweets.) And for bulk-deleting tweets in an archive, Twitter Archive Browser is useful. It may well auto-delete tweets in a sure timeframe or containing sure key phrases.
Of us in want of extra exhaustive Twitter timeline pruning will wish to strive Twitter Cleaner, which may routinely delete tweets, retweets and favorites from an archive. Twitter Cleaner may also take away entries from an energetic timeline however that requires a Twitter developer account.
Organizing particular issues, like pictures
What if you happen to’re solely desirous about particular artifacts out of your Twitter account, like pictures? Whereas there’s no method round downloading your whole account archive, some instruments assist to floor solely the gadgets of curiosity inside that archive.
For instance, Twitter Photo Downloader processes your Twitter archive to create a neighborhood database containing all of your pictures. It’ll even work for picture galleries and pictures from retweets, albeit not for movies and GIFs. (You’ll see a single nonetheless body instead of a GIF.) Twitter Archive Parser is much more stripped down. The software converts particular person tweets in an archive into PDFs for storage functions.
Effectively — that’s all of the open supply instruments we’ve noticed for managing Twitter archives to this point. If we missed any, be happy to ship us an electronic mail and we’ll see about including it to the listing.