While the Library of Congress is still stressing over archiving every tweet for posterity and the Vatican blithely deleted the Pope’s entire tweet history, Twitter itself is making steps to allow users to download their own tweet archive forever. The system began in late 2012, but only for a smallish number of twitterers who’d used English as their default language setting. Now the language list has dramatically expanded to include Dutch, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Malaysian, Norwegian, Polish, and Spanish.
On requesting an archive, Twitter’s systems will supply it in the form of a zipped file via email. The archive facility is likely going to appeal to people who like to preserve their writing, diarists, and perhaps may fuel some academic research.
Interestingly, current estimates place the world’s top 10 most spoken languages in (roughly) the following order: China, English, Spanish, Hindi, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, Bengali, French, Malay. So it’s not exactly clear why Twitter chose these particular languages right now…though the list may represent Twitter’s popularity in different nations.