I started TwimeMachine back in late 2009, because it was a horrible user experience to find and read your old tweets (hint: click next, click next, click next).
Over the years it’s evolved, getting help from people like Misha Kvakin (TwimeMachine’s design for a long time), changing codebases (PHP to Django) and finally having to work around Twitter’s recent deprecation of some timeline features.
As you may know, Twitter announced the ability to download and view all your old tweets. I haven’t been able to test it as it hasn’t rolled out to me yet. By the looks of it, you request your archive, it mails it to you, and then through a separate HTML file you can read and search your old tweets. It’s got an interesting interface. By downloading the tweets beforehand, you can quickly navigate through the months on the right. This is similar to how TwimeMachine initially functioned before they changed how the timeline API works. You could quickly skip to parts.
So I guess it comes now to an important question: Do I think it will kill TwimeMachine?
No. The user experience is a bit different. I think TwimeMachine would still be better in some use cases. Firstly, requesting your archive and waiting each time for an e-mail, then opening that HTML file is more effort than simply logging in and waiting a few seconds for 3200 tweets to load.
Secondly, the inline interface is (debatably) better for quickly scanning and browsing your past tweets.
Thirdly, and probably the biggest difference: You can read other people’s old tweets.
So does the fact that Twitter have all your tweets outweigh the other benefits? Not entirely, I’d say, but I do think I’ll lose some traffic over it. Initially I suspect traffic might increase due to chatter, but long-term, the people that use it to read their whole archive (or first tweet) will go the Twitter route. Another factor that is detrimental is that more and more people are tweeting, cruising past 3200 tweets.
It will be interesting to see what happens. I’m proud so far that this little side-project has already been used by about 250 000 Twitter users including Paulo Coelho, Cesc Fabregas, Adidas, CNBC, Sega and ESPN amongst others. I have gotten way more out of it than I could’ve dreamed of.
The ad revenue is after all sponsoring my dev account over at app.net. ;)