Why Would You Back Up Your Tweets?

Twitter

Every day millions of people around the globe are sending more than 340 million messages on Twitter. Businesses and individuals can be chatting, marketing and promoting, performing customer service, or simply publishing their wisdom via their PC, mobile or tablet.

With such a fast-paced flow of messages ranging from jokes to presidential campaigns and revolutionary activity, why would you take the time and effort to back up your tweets? That facility has recently been made officially available by Twitter itself, but only to a limited set of users. Until such time as this is rolled out to everyone, there are reliable third party applications which can take care of it.

Posterity

In the six years since Twitter launched, it’s possibly you have tweeted thousands of times. And while various applications have launched to remind you what you tweeted on a specific day, it’s far easier to see patterns and themes if you have all your tweets at your disposal.

Given the volume it’s easy to achieve by tweeting, you may have already published several books worth of material without even realising (Around 100,000 words is generally given as the length of a novel). And even if it’s not bestseller material, you could create a nice gift by collecting all the tweets you’ve sent to specific people over the years.

It’s not inconceivable that Twitter could close or experience software or hardware errors. It wasn’t that long ago that the ‘Fail Whale’ was regularly seen as the website in particular experienced numerous outages. If the owners of Twitter decide to close, and you haven’t backed up your content, that’s potentially 6 years and thousands of words about your life which could be completely erased with no way to recover them.

Analysis

If you’re using Twitter for business reasons, whether it’s for marketing or customer service, it’s important to be able to go back and check historic data and content. Despite a range of third party services, the constant changes to Twitter API rules, and the fact they may disappear if they’re not a sustainable business, means it’s important to back-up your own data and information regularly.

And given the huge increase in content being published on Twitter, it’s important not only to know the subject of your most successful messages, but also the phrasing and context which led to their success.

Legal

It’s easily forgotten that what you publish on a social network can get you into as much trouble as what you publish in a printed format. There is a large and growing list of mishaps and disasters perpetrated by users tweeting in haste, whether on personal or business accounts.

As much as you may wish to forget any embarrassment, it’s important to keep records of not only what was published, but also any follow-up messages and apologies. It may turn out that downloading your previous tweets turns out to save you from problems in the future.

In addition, it’s useful to have copies of original messages in the event of a hacked or compromised account.

The importance of Social Media backups

Just as it’s vitally important to back-up websites and blogs on a regular basis, the growth of social media as a personal and business communications tool means they also need to be safely stored and accessible when you need it.

No-one likes to image years of words, images, videos and links being lost, but by taking the quick and easy step of regularly backing up your content, it means you’ll be prepared if something bad happens. And you may also find yourself re-using all that work in something interesting and new.

About Ben Jones

Ben Jones is a tech writer sharing experiences and investigations into the world of gadgetry, social media and “the cloud”. Follow him on Twitter or Google Plus