Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo has said that he hopes to give users the option to download their entire archive of tweets by the end of the year. Costolo’s announcement was a response to a question at a talk where he discussed the future of communication and access to information at the University of Michigan.
We say “hopes” because it appears that the engineers do not like the deadline set.
“I caveat this with the engineers who are actually doing the work don’t necessarily agree that they’ll be done by the end of the year, but we’ll just keep having that argument and we’ll see where we end up year end,” Costolo said.
And they have some reason to argue with the deadline set by Costolo – their infrastructure is not really set up to archive search and distribution (according to the man himself). “So if you wanted to do a search against our user database, our user db for that entire history, it would be so slow that it would slow down the rest of the real-time distribution of things,” Costolo noted.
Their solution: they’re building a brand new system to archive tweets. But of course, setting a deadline like this could mean that it might not be tested for the capacity that Twitter is handling now. For example, during the US election, it was handling 15,000 tweets per second to 1.3 million timelines (which is basically the first page you login to – displaying the tweets of people you follow).
Costolo has previously mentioned that he wants to have this feature by the end of the year, according to TechCrunch, in September. But at least we know this feature is coming.
Also revealed in the speech is that Twitter plans to talk with China once the new government – led by Xi Jinping – is settled. However, according to Costolo, the talks won’t mean that they will follow what other US companies have done and start censoring material to enter the Chinese market.
“We won’t compromise the way Twitter works in order to operate within a country. You know, we won’t start saying, “Okay,” for example, “you can have government employees at the Twitter China office who see all the tweets and censor them when they go out if they don’t like something, right, we won’t do that,” Costolo told the audience.
N.B. Also, I know that this is Twitter’s old logo.