By Khurram Aziz | Dec 17, 2012 03:57 PM EST
Twitter has started allowing members to download an archive of all their Tweets.
The microblogging site first promised to roll out this feature in July, with Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo promising in September to give its users the ability to access all their old Tweets by the year's end.
Other social networks, such as Facebook, already allow users to download an archive of their posting history, but Twitter has been slower to roll out a similar service.
With Twitter now growing to 140 million active users, the internet service is now making its own solution available to a small portion of users. If you're one of those users, you can download your archives with the following steps:
1. Go to the Twitter Settings page of your account and scroll to the bottom. If you see a button that reads "Request your archive," then you've been given access to your archive. Click the button.
2. Twitter will then do all the work and email you a link to download your archive.
3. When you click the link in your email, you'll be able to download a ZIP file of all your Tweets in a handy calendar format. The archive contains Tweets in CSV and JSON formats, which could be used in applications such as Excel, to manipulate the data in interesting ways - perhaps by third-party apps. You will also be sent a HTML file with all your Tweets for easy viewing in a browser.
Twitter's new feature follows calls in November from the European Union's competition commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, for social networks to allow their users to easily and cheaply move their personal data to rival services.
Almunia said the so-called right of portability "goes to the heart of competition policy," according to ZDNet.
Facebook's Download Your Information feature already allows users to get a copy of what they've shared on Facebook, such as photos, posts, messages, friends list, and chat conversations. Google also has a similar service for its Gmail and GDrive users with its Data Liberation Tool.