TweetVault · Summer 2012

Back in 2010 I was frustrated with the then-available interfaces to my Twitter data and wanted a better way to search and browse my own tweets. That led to a simple PHP-based archiving tool that I open-sourced before eventually rebranding it as a hosted service – tweetvaultHQ – and offering paid monthly subscriptions. Eventually I rewrote the whole service in Python/Django and re-released it in 2012 as TweetVault.

TweetVault uses the Twitter API to pull down and archive a copy of your tweet history as well as your favourites. It presents these in a neat interface to allow more effective browsing and searching than the Twitter site itself offers, and additionally compiles and presents a variety of neat stats and charts of your tweeting activity using the gRaphael and Grafico charting libraries. Import/export services are also available and the site includes a responsive mobile version.

The backend uses a Celery-based task queue and each authenticated user’s data is polled every few minutes via a custom wrapper around the Twitter API. Payment processing is handled via PayPal.

In the years since the project launched, Twitter has gradually added much of the missing functionality that TweetVault provides, but it remains online and amazingly a few people still pay for it. I still refer to it often as an excellent learning exercise around topics like oAuth, PayPal integration and sensible API design.