Archive your Tweets with Tweetback
Twitter, it’s not me—it’s you.
In October of 2019, I gave a talk at Jamstack Conf San Francisco titled Owning your Content on Social Media.
For this talk I built a social media platform: MySpaceBook.info, the only social media site exclusively for astronauts. Unfortunately midway through the presentation an investor called me up to make an offer on the site and I was left with no choice but to sell it, taking all of the user data down with it.
Apropros of nothing and in no way related to the scenario foretold in prophecy, I’m no longer hanging around on Twitter.
In the Jamstack Conf talk, I went through how one might build a local archive of your Twitter content, as I had done and documented separately a month or two prior. This archive now lives at
As Eleventy started to take off, I suddenly had very limited time to dedicate to cleaning up this archive for others to use. A lot of folks asked me about it and whether I was going to open source it. I always punted—it felt like an open source burden that I just didn’t have the bandwidth to take on. This continued for, well… years! Until a few weeks ago when long-time Eleventy community member Nicolas Hoizey volunteered to help maintain the thing!
And thus, Tweetback was shipped.
Build Performance at Scale
Tweetback is built with Eleventy and I do think Eleventy plays a special role here. Eleventy is a production ready, stable site generator that now has very concrete public proof of ~50,000 and > 100,000 page builds.
- Each tweet has its own independent URL (with backwards/forwards threading!)
- (This is my favorite) Tweetback globally replaces canonical twitter URLs to point to other known archives:
- Archives known to
@tweetback/canonicalwill change twitter.com URLs to use decentralized archive production URLs instead.
- Archives known to
t.colinks are transformed to the original hyperlink URL.
- Locally cache the high quality versions of images.
- Links to users, tweets, non-truncated URLs.
- Nicer link formatting for links-to-tweets:
- Translates `backtick` markdown notation to
- See your most popular tweets
- Who you retweet the most
- Who you reply to the most
- Frequently used swear words
- Top emoji
- Top hashtags
Demos (at time of writing)
If you’ve been discouraged by Twitter’s direction, a great start to moving away from Twitter is to get your data off of the service. Tweetback can help you do that.
If you ship a Tweetback site, I’d love to hear about it on Mastodon 😇.
@zachleat hi! 😅
@zachleat okay but what if you like...you deleted them every 7 days for years.can someone hack twitter please. i need my "deleted" tweets.@nhoizey @eleventy
@zachleat @nhoizey @eleventy I tried running this yesterday, and while it imported all tweets into the database, after I did some juggling with database/tweets.js, database/tweets-part1.js, and database/tweets-part2.js, the actual building of the site failed after the passthrough… Truncated
You could create a public archive zachleat.com/web/tweetback/
@zachleatWhen is the last time I told you, you're the GOAT? Seriously, man, you are. Do me a favor and relax over the holidays? The past year was a flurry of "damn, 11ty is getting better and better," even heroes need rest.@eleventy
Zach Leatherman :11ty:
@mikka hah! Appreciate it—happy to be doing what I love over here ❤️ but yes I do need a bit of time off too 🙌🏻
@zachleatDone! https://mikka.md/tweet/ (I guess I'll take the "starter project" part seriously and turn it into something a little more Mikka-style whenever I don't feel like playing WoW or am traveling.)@eleventy medimikka’s Twitter Archive
@samkap cheers, I had a feeling it had a @zachleat shape to it 🙏
Personally I’m taking the approach of trying to build an archive of my tweets that I could reference, search, and index in Google - but not worry about moving it within Mastodon? i.e. zachleat.com/web/tweetback/