Twitter has begun allowing members to download an archive of all their tweets, so they can look back on their entire history on the microblogging network for the first time.The firm revealed it was working on the new feature in July, but only began making it available to members over the weekend.
A spokesman said it was in testing with “a very small percentage of users”.
To access their archive, Twitter members must click the link at the bottom of their settings. The firm warns that it may take some time to generate an archive and says it will notify members via email when the file is ready for download.
The archive comes as a compressed .zip folder, containing members’ tweets in .csv spreadsheet format, and as .json file, a format often used to transfer and represent data online. Metadata, such as location, is also included.
Twitter says the easiest way to explore the data is via a link provided, which opens a searchable web page as a portal to the archive. Deleted tweets are not included.
The development delivers on a promise from Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo that members would be able to access old tweets. Facebook already allows its one billion members to download their archive.
Twitter’s engineers have met a public deadline set by Mr Costolo of providing the feature by the end of 2012. He said they complained at the complexity of archiving every tweet since the service was introduced in 2006.
“Now, again, once again, I caveat this with the engineers who are actually doing the work don’t necessarily agree that they’ll be done by the end of the year, but we’ll just keep having that argument and we’ll see where we end up year-end,” Mr Costolo said last month.
The email delivering the archive carries a warning for members to be careful about sharing their archive as it “may contain sensitive content”.