Joining in the Twitter chatter is all well and good. But with over 340 million tweets being sent every single day, what happens when chit chat becomes clap trap? The value in sorting out important updates to you and your brand is vital. So you’ve attended the seminars and honed your Twitter feed, amassing thousands of followers along the way. But what if one day your account goes to Twitter heaven. What will you do then? Have you considered the issue of backing up?
When it comes to IT, the basic rule is that if it doesn’t exist in three places, then it doesn’t exist at all. Things fail, items get lost or stolen and if you’ve spent days, weeks, months even years creating material, then those losses can be a hard, potentially damaging lesson to learn. The same is true for Twitter. And after putting in the time and effort in cultivating a Twitter identity via Twitter, you don’t want all your hard work wiped out with not a footprint left in the twitter landscape. When it comes to online data, it’s not beyond possibilities, so it’s worth being prepared.
Twitter only gives users access to their previous 3200 tweets. So anything prior to that has dropped off into the black Twitter hole with no chance of recovery. Of course, that’s unless you’ve followed the back-up rule and downloaded them. Do this, and you can sleep easy with the knowledge that even if your Twitter account goes belly-up, you won’t lose all that important info.
In July 2012, Twitter revealed plans to release a tool that will solve part of this problem. The New York Times reported that the company’s chief executive, Dick Costolo, had announced in a recent meeting that Twitter was going to create an application that will allow users to view and download all previous tweets. But what about right now? Well thankfully there are back-up options available to Twitter users via third-party services. Below are three ways to back up your tweets.
At the moment, there are a few options for to download content from Twitter to your own machine – my favorite is the free Tweetdownload device. Another popular (but paid for) choice is Backupify which can be used to back up not just Twitter but also Facebook, Flickr and Google Apps. The company already claims to protect 1.7 billion emails and offers a weekly free Twitter back up service. Some tools not only offer a back-up option but also a search tool. Take Twissues for instance. This free tool means you can back up your Twitter account plus browse and search through them. The benefit of this is that you can check through communication on a certain topic easily and fairly quickly.
Alternatively, there are more straight-forward techniques which involves copying and pasting each individual tweet to a text document which you can then save on your own local server. Or there are also tweet synchronization services to download your tweets on a spreadsheet. It’s worth taking the time to find out what would suit you because whichever one these tools you use, the results could be invaluable when it comes to protecting and potentially researching your Twitter use.
==== About the Author ====
Ben Jones is a tech writer sharing experiences and investigations into the world of online, gadgetry, social media and hosting.