Wouldn’t it be nice if Twitter had an Export button? You search for something, maybe a trending #hashtag, an old tweet or your brand name, and all the matching tweets would get saved in a spreadsheet. And the archive would update itself as new matching tweets are added to Twitter.

Well, Twitter is unlikely to provide you an option to save search results directly but here’s a simple do-it-yourself solution that takes 5-minutes to implement (watch video) and it will capture all matching tweets for your search term(s) and hashtags in a Google Spreadsheet automatically.

The idea is simple. This Google Spreadsheet connects to Twitter through a Google Script and imports all the search results into the sheet. It will make this connection to Twitter every few minutes in the background and fetches any new tweets, if available.

Save Tweets Forever in a Spreadsheet

The Twitter Archiver is available in two editions – free and premium. The premium edition allows you monitor multiple search terms and hashtags in the same Google sheet. It is significantly faster at fetching tweets and can even pull old tweets that have been posted in the previous 6-9 days.

Features Free Premium
Automatically archive all new (incoming) tweets Yes Yes
Support for advanced Twitter search operators like min_retweets Yes Yes
Capture old tweets sent in the last 6-9 days No Yes
Show seo-tagged tweets on a Google Map No Yes
Tweet Archiving speed Normal Fast
Save tweets for multiple search terms and hashtags in a single spreadsheet No Yes
Installation Manual (PDF) included No Yes
Support options None Email
Choose Twitter Archiver edition Forever Free Premium
Platinum includes all features of Premium plus one-on-one support over Skype, Google Hangouts and remote screen sharing Platinum
You may make payments through PayPal or your credit and debit cards. Refunds can only be requested within 12 hours of purchase.

Archive Tweets Permanently

How to Use Twitter Archiver – Free Edition

  1. Click here to copy the Twitter Archiver sheet into your Google Drive. Set the name of the sheet as a hashtag or a search phrase. For instance, you could set the sheet name as #WorldCup2014 to save all the FIFA related tweets.
  2. Go to apps.twitter.com and create a new app. In the Callback URL field, put https://spreadsheets.google.com/macros and save your changes. Select the API Keys tab and make a note of the Twitter Consumer Key and Secret.
  3. Switch to your Google sheet and select Tools -> Script Editor. Don’t worry, you don’t have to write a single line of code here, just copy-paste the Twitter secret and key inside the editor. Now select the Run menu, choose Initialize and grant the necessary permissions.

That’s it. The tweets will now appear inside your Google Sheet. These are the first set of 100 tweets and new tweets will be automatically pulled and added into your sheet every few minutes.

In addition to tweets, the Twitter Archiver app also imports other data like the tweet’s retweet & favorite count and the tweeter’s friend & followers count. This data will help you filter out the spam Twitter users or figure out the most influential tweets from the imported data.

The Twitter Archiver sheet runs in the background and monitors Twitter for new tweets. If you would like to stop the tracker, go to the Script Editor and choose Stop from the Run menu as shown in the screencast video.

Since the tweets are saved in a standard spreadsheet, you can easily export the search results in various formats including PDF, CSV or even publish your data set as an HTML web page (choose File -> Publish to Web inside Google Sheets).

Advanced users may try this technique to create JSON or RSS Feeds from Twitter.