Missing Tweets

24 April 2009
5:41 PM

While looking at Twitter last week I noticed that updates were missing from my user timeline. According to Twitter, I didn’t post anything between March 20 and April 9. Through a little investigative coding (and some help from Twistory, I found that my updates were still part of the Twitter system, but not associated with my user timeline. For instance, I posted this message on April 1, but if you look at that part of my user timeline, it doesn’t appear.

Twitter has closed the support ticket on this issue, but my problem isn’t solved. I opened my own support ticket, but the only advice I’ve received so far has been about changing my bio.

Since Twitter is such a large service, fixing this problem probably isn’t a high priority if it only affects a couple people. But it’s hard to know if it affects you unless you feel like going through all your messages and counting. Since computers are pretty decent when it comes to counting, I built Missing Tweets to help people check if they are missing any updates. The script works on the assumption that Twitter still maintains the correct total count for a user’s updates. This is true in my case: Twitter says I have made 993 updates, but only 955 show up in my user timeline. That means that 38 are missing.

Most people I have tested this script on aren’t missing any tweets, but a few are. Test it on yourself, and let Twitter know if you are missing tweets.

This doesn’t work if you have more than 3200 tweets. You can still use Missing Tweets even if your account is protected. Your browser will prompt you for your username and password. This communication is happening directly between your computer and Twitter; my site isn’t involved in any way.

Update (2009-05-02): All of my tweets have been reconnected with my user timeline. I’m not missing any more tweets, but you can still check if you are.