Since a while there are some misleading information on-line (by Washington Post among others) about Twitter archive vs. Twitter data. Next to other information the following is written there:
2. Download your archive
Before erasing your tweets, you can save a copy of everything you’ve ever tweeted — should you want a record before it’s all gone. I’ve never looked at mine, but it makes me feel better knowing it’s there. Here’s how to do it:
Twitter will, eventually, email you a big zip file containing your entire archive of tweets to the email address it has on file for you.
The misleading point here is the head line, because what you are requesting here is your Twitter data file but NOT your Twitter archive file. Why TweetEraser is pointing this out?
Simply because if you want to delete even old tweets – let’s say from 4 years ago – you need to import your Twitter archive file first. The reason for this is, that Twitter unfortunately only allows to download your most recent max. 3200 tweets via their API, but only if they are not older than about 12 months.
How to identify difference between archive and data file?
The basic difference are the file name and the file size. Once you request your data file from Twitter the file name looks similar to this example:
It starts with “twitter”, followed by the date of request “2018-08-22”, separated by hyphen “-” and closed by a long hash containing random numbers and letters. Likewise the archive file, this one is a ZIP compressed file. Usually this file has a bigger size (could have around 1GB or more) than your archive file, because it contains all your media data you ever sent within a tweet.
For requesting your Twitter archive file please follow the instruction of how to request your Twitter archive ZIP here. The information there are similar to this:
Sign into your Twitter account and go to https://twitter.com/settings/account, scroll down to the end. There should be a button for requesting your archive. Click that button. You’ll get an email from Twitter containing the download link to your archive. Your Twitter archive file name looks similar to this example:
It starts with your Twitter account ID, followed by an under score and closed by a long hash containing random numbers and letters. Likewise the data file, this one is a ZIP compressed file, but usually way smaller. It depends on the amount of your tweets, but is shouldn’t be much bigger than let’s say 60 MB. The average size is somewhere between 10 to 20 MB.
What to import at TweetEraser?
Definitely and only your Twitter archive file, the original one you got downloaded from Twitter. Please do not open or rename the file. I just mentioned in the previous paragraph how to request/download your Twitter archive and you can recognize if you have the right file.
But please keep in mind, that for MacOS user there is probably an additional step to take care about:
If you are using e.g. Safari browser on MacOS, please make sure to disable within Safari preferences the option which says “automatically extract zip files on download” – or similar. Other browser on MacOS may have some similar setting options.
The archive file you’ll get from Twitter is a zipped one. It contains several files and folders with your tweets. After downloading this archive please do not touch/open it. Just save it on your local system and select this original file after you clicked “Upload Archive” at TweetEraser.
TweetEraser expects as upload file the original archive file you got from Twitter.
If you are still not sure how to get your archive – Twitter as well has it’s own documentation about that.