The importance of backup can never be overstated. No matter what it is, if it’s important to you, back it up. You never know when something might fail, and you’ll find yourself wishing you’ve taken the time to back up your stuff. Your Twitter presence is no different. In the several years Twitter’s been around, many of us have collected thousands of tweets, followers, DMs and lists. While not all of these can be backed up, why not save what you can?
If you’re a very active Twitter user, you know that Twitter only allows you access to your last 3,200 tweets. If you already have more than that, you can’t go back in time and gain access to your first tweets, but you can store them in a backup service so you can have access to all your tweets from now on. If you haven’t reached 3,200 yet, this is a great way to ensure you won’t lose tweets to this limitation. Moreover, you can back up a list of the people you follow, your DMs, and more, so if the worst happens and you lose your Twitter account, you won’t lose the really important things.
So yes, there might be more important things to back up, like your work, personal files, etc., but once you’ve got that settled, it only takes minutes to set up a simple Twitter backup.
This is a simple and free web app that gathers all your tweets under one roof, and also makes them easily searchable. This way, you can kill two birds with one stone. Have an online backup of your tweets and have access to them even when you pass the 3,200 mark, and also easily search through your tweets without having to rely on Twitter’s not-so-reliable search capabilities.
Start by connecting twissues to your Twitter account, and watch as it gathers and archives all your tweets. Once it’s done, you can visit the website every time you want to view older tweets or search through them.
You can also follow world trends through the app using the right sidebar. One important thing you should do, if you want your tweets to be private, is access the settings and check “Don’t allow other users search through my tweets”.
From here you can also quickly delete your account.
Backupify can do much more than back up your Twitter account, but for our purposes, I will show you how you can use a free Backupify account to back up your tweets, mentions, DMs and favorites. To start, you’d need to sign up for a free Backupify account. Using this account, you can back up up to three of your networks, Twitter included.
Choose Twitter and grant Backupify access to your account to start the backup process. This can take up to 24 hours, depending on how big your account is. Once the backup is complete, you’ll see a green check mark in your account summary. Even before that, though, you can already access your backup, which looks like this:
Backupify will run a backup every day automatically, so you don’t have to think about it. Simply access your Backupify account when you need to look at older tweets, search through your tweets and mentions, or download your backup. If you want to download an export, request one through the interface and it will be emailed to you.
Powered by Backupify, TweetBackup nonetheless offers some distinct features that are pretty useful. The service is in beta (not sure how long it’s been in that status), and is therefore a bit clunky at first, but if you need a CSV, text or HTML export of your tweets, this is a great place to get it.
When you first load the website, you’ll see these two options:
In my case, clicking on “Sign Up Now” resulted in an error, while trying to log in resulted in a different error. When I went back to Sign Up, however, I managed to log in using my Twitter account and start the backup. So don’t give up if at first you fail.
Once you sign in, TweetBackup will start backing up your account. This may take a while (up to 48 hours), depending on how big your account is.
Once done, the backup will include all your Twitter posts and a list of the people you follow. You can download a CSV, text or HTML file of your backup from the Export tab, and view your last 50 posts.
For viewing or searching purposes, TweetBackup is not as useful as other services, but the ability to download an export file whenever you need one is great. It will also save all your tweets, so you can still have access to them after you cross the 3,200 mark.
If you don’t know IFTTT yet, you really should. It’s a great way to automate pretty much anything you can think of. Not surprisingly, you can also use it to create a backup for your tweets. While this won’t save the tweets you already have, you can use it to save all your tweets from now on. If you’re just getting started with Twitter, this is a great option.
This specific IFTTT recipe saves all your tweets to Evernote, so in order to use it you’ll also need to create an Evernote account. If you don’t know much about Evernote, you can read our brand new Evernote manual! It’s free, and it will show you all the ropes.
Back to business: in order to recover old Tweets in this method, you’ll need to use this recipe. Once you activate it, all your tweets will be saved to a note in Evernote, without you having to think about it.
While backing up Twitter is important, there’s a surprising lack of really good services that do this. While this is probably due to API restrictions by Twitter, I would still be more than happy to hear about more options. Do you know of a better way to back up your Twitter account? Please tell us about it below!
Please also share your thoughts about the need to back up your Twitter or other social accounts. Are they really that important?
Image credit: Backup image via Shutterstock