Twitter is ephemeral. Tweets are short, throwaway observations, which capture the present moment, flow past quickly and are succeeded by more recent and relevant ones. Why would you want to keep a tweet? Why would you want to tweet in advance?
Let’s look first at deleting. You can delete your own tweets by clicking the ‘dots’ icon located underneath the Tweet next to ‘reply’, ‘retweet’, etc. From the menu that appears simply select ‘Delete Tweet’. If you make a mistake in a tweet, it might be less confusing to send another tweet with a correction rather than delete one that people may already have seen. However, you can’t delete someone else’s tweets, so if they’ve already retweeted you, taken a screenshot or archived the tweet using some of the options below, it might be too late to stop your tweet been recirculated!
What if you want to keep tweets, either your own or someone else’s? Why might you want to do this?
- Perhaps a discussion on Twitter helped you to think something through, and you want to keep the discussion so you can work it up into a blog post, or integrate it into a chapter or article later
- Maybe there was a good twitter ‘backchannel’ of livetweeting at a conference or other event, which you want to preserve either for yourself or others
- Perhaps you want to preserve a selection of good advice or observations on a topic, when you asked for suggestions on Twitter and got some great responses. You might want to keep and share them with others.
- Maybe you want to keep a record of all of the tweets from a particular module instance.
Your Twitter Archive
If you want a copy of all your tweets, then Twitter can send you an archive of everything you’ve tweeted. Click on the profile icon, and select ‘Settings’. On your ‘Account’ page, scroll down to the bottom where you will see an option “Your Twitter archive: Request your archive”. This might be useful if you are using Twitter with your students and you want to capture all your tweets to demonstrate what you have done over a semester (or year) to external examiners etc.
Bookmarks are a recently added feature – an easy way to save Tweets for quick access later.
And what about future tweets?
You can schedule tweets to send themselves automatically later on. Although Twitter is a medium which captures the moment, there are several reasons why you might want to do this.
- If your following contains people in a different time zone who are most likely to be online in the middle of the night, and you want to catch their attention
- If you have collected a lot of links you want to share, but don’t want to overwhelm your followers with lots of tweets at once
- If you want to tweet repeated information, updates or reminders, perhaps about an event you’re organising, a blog or article you’ve written or a deadline for a job or funding opportunity, without having to remember to do it
- If you’re away but want to keep some presence on Twitter
- If you want to release a link to an article, or lecture recording, to students after a lecture or seminar.
You can schedule tweets from both Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. To schedule a tweet in Tweetdeck, write a tweet as normal, and then click on the clock icon at the bottom of the window you’re composing a tweet in. This brings up a small calendar, where you can choose the time and date when you want your tweet to be sent. You could also use an app called Buffer. You can sign in with Twitter (or Facebook, or LinkedIn), add an email address, and install it to your browser. Once signed in, it will ask you what you want to share. Type in a tweet, and click ‘buffer’. You will want to go to the ‘Schedule’ tab and set the timezone, and the day and time you want to tweet!
There’s quite a bit there to play with! Don’t worry if you’re still catching up – so are others, and hopefully the conversation will be continuing on #CU10DoT for quite some time!