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See What You Tweeted About This Year

Twitter's year-end review has a killer feature: You can get a bird's-eye view of your year in tweets. There's just one catch.

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Twitter's 2012 year-in-review package has a lot of the things you might expect, all of which are worth a look: the top tweets of the year (Obama wins!); the biggest trends (some kind of bizarre ancient ritual called the "Olympics"); Twitter's most interesting original content (dispatches from space, mostly); and an unintentionally funny list of famous people who somehow waited until this year to start tweeting (what the hell, Matt Lauer? You almost got out-Twittered by the Bishop of Rome).

But the coolest feature is the "My Year on Twitter" app, which processes your last year of posts into an insta-infographic:

The intention is to give users a full view of their activity over the year, including their most popular tweets, most talked-about subjects, and a draggable timeline of activity. And the vast majority of users will get this — my most-tweeted-about subjects were Twitter, which I do write and tweet about a lot, and God, almost exclusively in the context of "oh god" and "oh my god."

But a lot of people, myself included, will run up against a curious limitation. Though Vizify, the company that designed this tool, is ostensibly partnered with Twitter, the "Year On Twitter" can only reach back 3,200 tweets — the same limit imposed on all other developers and users (if you scroll back in your timeline for about 30 minutes, that's as far back as you'll be able to go).

This means my year in review only reaches back to September. Which is a liiiittttllle disappointing, and odd: Twitter wasn't willing to make an exception to its ever-tightening API rules even for its own year in review feature. It's almost like Twitter is telling me to slow down, or something.

That's not to mention Twitter CEO Dick Costolo's promise, made just two weeks ago, that users would be able to see their full post archives before the end of the year.

Come to think of it, this little bit of dissonance is as good a review of the year in Twitter as you could ask for.

Contact John Herrman at

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