In the past week we have received multiple questions from Backupify’s Twitter backup customers asking how they can find their Twitter archives and what that data means. With over 34,000 Twitter backup accounts under management at Backupify, we figure they are not the only ones with this question.
First, it needs to be noted that at the time we have two Twitter archive formats. Our ‘old’ version is located on our legacy platform. (You may remember we switched Backupify’s platform from PHP to Ruby on Rails.) The old style of backups reside on the PHP side, the new version resides on Ruby on Rails.
If you are a legacy customer (meaning you have been using our backup system since before October) then your backups most likely reside on the PHP platform. If you’re unsure, log on, go to the Archives tab and see if you are brought to the below screen:
If you see the above screen, lets continue (if you see another screen, this means you’re account and backups reside on our new Rails platform, so read further down for details)
From the drop down menu in the Archives section, choose Twitter. Once clicked, you’ll see a list of links including a comprehensive PDF file we’ve generated that includes your Twitter bio and all of your Tweets (remember, if you signed up with us and had over 3,200 tweets, Twitter’s API only allows us to pull the most recent 3,200. However, every consecutive backup will backup more tweets – after awhile you will have accumulated much more than 3,200 tweets on Backupify). This serves as a timeline for all your Twitter activity. There are currently no links in the PDF to the tweet from Twitter, but you can click on your Twitter handle within the PDF to be directed to your actual Twitter profile.
Your Twitter backup also includes:
- Sent and received direct messages
- Favorited tweets
- Followers and following lists
- Mentions from others
- Your own tweets
When you click on any one of these links, for example ‘Favorites’, you will be brought to a feed of all your activity within this folder. Again, you will not be brought to any individual tweet, direct message, or mention when you click on a link, but you will be brought to that specific part of your profile, such as the ‘Favorites’ section.
If you’re on the new Rails Platform, you will see the following Archives screen:
Note: If you are on the old platform and want to migrate to the new platform, simply click on the box to the right (see photo here) once you log on and you will automatically be transferred to the new system. We are in the process of moving all legacy Twitter users from our PHP platform to the Rails platform. Soon, you will not have to switch between platforms and there will be one standard Twitter backup version. Please bear with us during this transition period.
From the Rails Archive section, select the desired Twitter account of which you would like to view archives. Right now, this data might not make much sense to you, but trust us, all the necessary data is there in full when Twitter allows us to restore (Read here as to why we cannot yet restore Twitter).
What you will see is a list of tweet data including the tweet ID number, node type, and the day it was backed up. When you click on ‘Details’ to the left, you will see this. Since you can’t do much with this data until restore is available, we have also made available a PDF to visualize your tweets in a sensible format. Click ‘Generate Twitter PDF Book’ and you will be emailed this document shortly after.
While we realize these archives are not ideal, we are working as hard as we can with what Twitter’s API gives us to allow you to do as much as you can with your archives. The PDF seems to be the most popular feature of our archive formats so far, but we are excited to offer you more to do with this data in the coming months. If there is a particular format or method you’d like to employ to view your Twitter archives, please feel free to let us know in the comments section.
Don’t yet have a Backupify Twitter backup account? Sign up here.