How To Backup Tweets Using twDocs

The upcoming closure of Google Reader reminds us that online services, no matter how old, can be here today and gone tomorrow. Fortunately for RSS fans, Google Reader makes it easy to export your feeds for safe backup or easy import into another service. What about other popular websites? Twitter does not have a built in export option, but if you are concerned about all the information you have poured into Twitter over the years, twDocs is an online service that will quickly and easily export your Twitter feed into whatever format your heart desires.

The bulk of twDocs‘s functionality is all available on the home page. When you hop over to the website, you are presented with options to export your latest tweets, tweets from people you follow, favorited tweets, and mentions. You are also able to export direct messages and tweets unrelated to your personal account entirely. You can do all of this without having to register with the service.

twdocs-homepage

If you want to export your latest tweets, twDocs will ask you to input the number of tweets you would like to have stored. The default number is 200, but the max is 3200. After you have decided on a number, press the “Go” button.

twdocs-export-latest-tweets

twDocs will then shoot you out to the standard Twitter permissions page. Twitter asks if you would like to authorize twDocs to use your account and informs you that the service will be able to read tweets from your timeline and see who you follow. Since these permissions are necessary to perform the functions you want twDocs to do, simply click “Authorize app” to proceed. You will only need to do this once unless you choose to unauthorize the service in the future.

Authorize twDocs

You will then return back to the twDocs home page, only now you are greeted by a new frame thanking you for using the service. The file you requested should have downloaded automatically, but if not, find the “Click here” link to download the file manually.

Download results

Say you want to export a list of recent tweets about any given subject. Below are the results of a search for tweets about MakeTechEasier. Notice what information is included. By default, you are given the screen name the tweet was produced under, the text of the tweet, when it was created, how it was tweeted, and the tweet ID. PDFs are far from the only format you can export your results to. Other options include DOC, XML, TXT, and HTML, to name a few.

twDocs results

If you want to change the appearance of your exported files, find the “Click here for advanced options…” link towards the bottom of the home page. This will let you tweak what information is shown in an exported file. The options get pretty specific, allowing you to change both what content is displayed and how.

List of advanced options

I have never been that much of a Twitter user, but some people have invested years of tweets into the service and would possibly be devastated by the loss of that information. twDocs is here to make sure that the tweets you love are always available, even after Twitter some day shuts its doors.

twDocs