Twitter users will be able to download every tweet they've ever sent by the year's end. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed the news while speaking at his alma mater, the University of Michigan.
Costolo said it has taken so long for Twitter to offer users their tweet archives because the social networking service is not suited for archive distribution. He said that that the volume of tweets the firm receives has made it difficult to set up a system for long-term archiving.
"[Twitter's] really horribly suited to archive search and archive distribution. So if you wanted to do a search against our user database, our user [database] for that entire history, it would be so slow that it would slow down the rest of the real-time distribution of things," Costolo said during his speech. "So what we're doing to enable users to download the entire archive history of their tweets is, as you can imagine, creating a different kind of archival system for these tweets. We're in the process of doing that now."
Twitter currently allows users view their last 3,200 tweets. Users may be able to view their entire backlog, but they would have to use a third-party application to do so.
Costolo announced plans for a Twitter archival download earlier this year. However, Twitter has been silent on the possibility ever since Costolo mentioned it.
Twitter unveiled a new tweet takedown procedure earlier this month. A Twitter archival system could be useful for companies and users who find themselves in litigation over old tweets.
An archival system could also prove useful for companies that need a record of tweets from corporate accounts. A documented record of tweets could serve as a reminder and educational tool for Twitter usage.