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Give up Twitter higher with these free instruments that make archiving a breeze • TechCrunch


It’s by no means a foul time to again up your knowledge. However for Twitter customers, it’s arguably extra pressing than standard, what with the platform’s latest… unpredictability. Mass firings and resignations, whiplash coverage adjustments and crippled infrastructure don’t instill a ton of confidence that Twitter will stay secure effectively into the distant future. That’s why it’s value contemplating archiving your account for posterity.

Twitter’s lengthy supplied a device for archiving account knowledge, which at current means that you can copy your knowledge in a machine-readable format that’s moveable to pick out few different providers. However whereas the device works effectively for easy backups, the archives it creates aren’t notably user-friendly. There isn’t an apparent solution to shortly arrange the tens to hundreds of tweets an archive may comprise, for example, or drill down inside an archive for particular kinds of tweets and embedded media.

Fortuitously, because of the open supply group, there’s freely accessible instruments for many who want to train extra management over their Twitter archives. They don’t subvert Twitter’s archive request course of — you’ll want an account archive instantly from Twitter to make use of most of the instruments — however they make working with Twitter archives much less painful whereas increasing the archives’ usefulness, no less than in concept.

Word that not the entire instruments are essentially straightforward to make use of for non-developers. Many require information of Python and different programming languages, and any device that accesses Twitter’s API wants keys from a Twitter Developer account. (Disclaimer: don’t present instruments entry to your account if you happen to don’t totally belief them.) However the instruments on the very least present primary setup directions to assist novices rise up and operating.

Managing and viewing Twitter archives

Maybe essentially the most complete of the bunch is the Twitter Archive Parser, which goals to repair and/or work round among the extra egregious flaws in Twitter’s archiving system (e.g., shortening hyperlinks, storing tweets in a posh code construction, and many others.) The device converts tweets and even direct messages into markdown, the markup language supported by most content material administration techniques and editors, and likewise HTML — full with embedded photos, movies and hyperlinks.

The Twitter Archive Parser goes past the Twitter archiver’s barebones performance to exchange shortened URLs with their unique variations, copy tweeted photos to a folder (for simpler sorting), output lists of followers and folks you’re following and obtain photos of their unique sizes. (By default, Twitter’s archiver swaps out full-sized photos in tweets for smaller ones.)

If a extra user-friendly archive viewing expertise is all you’re after, nonetheless, Twitter Archive Browser suits the invoice. It shows your total Twitter timeline going again to the very first Tweet and allows you to browse direct message historical past offline. As you’d count on, Twitter Archive Browser will stay utterly purposeful within the occasion you delete your Twitter account, displaying any media you’ve uploaded together with photos and movies.

Extracting URLs, exporting bookmarks and deleting tweets

One other Python-based device, Taupe, is extra restricted in its capabilities than, say, Twitter Archive Parser. However it does precisely what it advertises: extracts the URLs of your tweets, retweets, replies, quote tweets and “likes” from a private Twitter archive. (Taupe is a unfastened acronym for “Twitter archive URL parser”).

Taupe takes a Twitter archive, extracts the URLs comparable to the tweets, retweets and such, and outputs the leads to a spreadsheet format that can be utilized with different software program and providers, akin to Web Archive’s Wayback Machine. Whereas Taupe has limitations — for instance, as a result of the Twitter archive format for “likes” doesn’t comprise a timestamp, Taupe can’t know or present precisely when particular person tweets had been favored — it’s one of many easiest methods to shortly convert historic Twitter knowledge right into a extra useable format.

As a complement to Taupe, there’s the self-descriptive Export your Twitter Bookmarks device, which saves all of your Twitter bookmarks — together with photographs and movies and totally expanded URLs connected to tweets — in a markdown file. (Twitter archives don’t embody bookmarked tweets.) And for bulk-deleting tweets in an archive, Twitter Archive Browser is useful. It might auto-delete tweets in a sure timeframe or containing sure key phrases.

People in want of extra exhaustive Twitter timeline pruning will need to attempt Twitter Cleaner, which might mechanically delete tweets, retweets and favorites from an archive. Twitter Cleaner also can take away entries from an energetic timeline, however that requires a Twitter developer account.

Organizing particular issues, like photographs

What if you happen to’re solely enthusiastic about particular artifacts out of your Twitter account, like photographs? Whereas there’s no approach round downloading your total account archive, some instruments assist to floor solely the objects of curiosity inside that archive.

For instance, Twitter Picture Downloader processes your Twitter archive to create an area database containing all of your photographs. It’ll even work for picture galleries and photographs from retweets, albeit not for movies and GIFs. (You’ll see a single nonetheless body rather than a GIF.) Twitter Archive Parser is much more stripped-down. The device converts particular person tweets in an archive into PDFs for storage functions.

Nicely — that’s all of the open supply instruments we’ve noticed for managing Twitter archives thus far. If we missed any, be happy to ship us an e-mail and we’ll see about including it to the listing.



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