New Delhi: Twitter's 200 million active users can soon savor or cringe over every single statement they've tweeted when the social media company begins sending users their entire archive of 140-character messages.
Only English-language users have this service for now, but Twitter will eventually send a download link containing the full personal archives in one file to any user who asks, the company said on Wednesday.
"Today, we're introducing the ability to download your Twitter archive, so you'll get all your Tweets (including Retweets) going back to the beginning. Once you have your Twitter archive, you can view your Tweets by month, or search your archive to find Tweets with certain words, phrases, hashtags or @usernames. You can even engage with your old Tweets just as you would with current ones," said Twitter in a blog post.
"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," Mollie Vandor, a Twitter engineer, wrote in an official blog post.
Since Twitter launched the service in 2006, tweets have evolved from a tool for youngsters to chat about frivolous things into a force for social change. It has served as an alternative to government-controlled media, for example, in the Middle East. And during Superstorm Sandy this year, news organizations and emergency response officials turned to Twitter as an essential source of real-time information.
In 2010, the Library of Congress pledged to preserve every public tweet as a matter of record - a significant undertaking, given that some 400 million tweets are dispatched worldwide everyday.
Bookending that archive will be one noted dispatch by Twitter Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey, who is widely recognized as its inventor. Dorsey, ignoring punctuation, brought the service to life shortly after 1:00 p.m. on March 21, 2006 with a supremely pedestrian update about his experimental social network. "inviting coworkers," Dorsey wrote.
How to download your past tweets
Go to Settings and scroll down to the bottom to check for the option to request your Twitter archive. If you do see it, go ahead and click the button. You'll receive an email with instructions on how to access your archive when it's ready for you to download.
If you don't see that option in Settings today, know that it's on the way! We're rolling out this feature slowly, starting today with a small percentage of users whose language is set to English. Over the coming weeks and months, we'll make it available to all users around the world, for all the languages we offer.
(With extra inputs from Reuters)