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Today, we learned that Twitter made good on its promise to start letting its users download all of their tweets from the beginning of their history with the service. For many geeks, there is excitement about this. It means that Twitter is showing how truly “open” they can be when it comes to your data and information, finally catching up with companies like Facebook and Google, which both allow you to grab all of your information at any time.
But some are confused about what they might do with the data once they have it. As with any data, the why’s and what’s are without boundaries. It’s pretty much infinite what you can do with a bazillion tweets that you own — well some have fewer than others.
The first thing you should do once you get the ability to download your archived tweets is to do so immediately. It won’t take up too much space on your hard drive. If you really care about the time you’ve spent on Twitter, why not back the massive file up on a service like Google Drive, Dropbox or Box? It certainly can’t hurt.
Now that you have the data, what can you do with it? Well, the tools to do cool things with massive amounts of data aren’t readily available to consumers like you, but that’s changing quickly. Services like Gnip, which has firehose access to re-sell to marketers, should absolutely take this opportunity to create consumer-facing services.