How to Backup Twitter Online (and More) with Pinboard

Sharon Hurley Hall
By Sharon Hurley Hall
— Last Updated: 2017-10-27T20:43:06+00:00

How many times have you tried to find an article that you tweeted or shared a few months after publication? It’s not always easy to do. We are sharing more stuff on social media than ever before and there’s definitely a danger of losing track of items you might need one day.

I should know. As a writer, I spend a lot of time researching online and finding the right tool to save what I find has been a constant quest. And then I found Pinboard.

Discovering Pinboard

There’s a bit of history to how I came to use Pinboard. The tool surfaced when it looked like Delicious was going to disappear – and at first I wasn’t sure it would be a viable replacement.

For example, Pinboard doesn’t provide: bookmark thumbnails, an attractive user interface and auto posting to social media sites.

Twitter Online Backup

I decided to give it a try anyway, and I’ve been using the tool since 2009. For me, the most important thing Pinboard does is serve as online backup for my most important Twitter activity. This Twitter online backup tool makes a nice complement to my other online backup tools. I share a lot of links to content I find interesting and Pinboard makes it easy for me to find and search through these later.

To enable this, you plug your Twitter handle into the settings, decide whether you want it to save all links or just those you mark as favorites and whether you want it to keep track of hashtags (you do, if you want to get the best from Pinboard).

Once that’s set up, it works seamlessly and automatically, bookmarking what you share and using the hashtags you use on Twitter to tag content. The hashtags make it easy for you to search your links by topic. All content I import from Twitter is identified by the “from Twitter” label and when I click on that, I can choose between links I’ve shared and those I’ve faved on Twitter. It basically provides online backup for my shared content on Twitter.

Other Uses for Pinboard

But Pinboard doesn’t only work with Twitter. You can import your existing bookmarks and saved links from a range of services, including Delicious, Google Reader (you’ve still got a short while to grab these via Google Takeout), Firefox, Safari and Chrome and Diigo.

In fact, as long as you can get your bookmarks into Pinboard format, you can upload them from practically any service. And it also works with a number of other services to provide online backup for articles you save via Delicious, Instapaper, Readability and Pocket. You can even post bookmarks by email and there’s a bookmarklet for manual saving.

As previously mentioned, the user interface has no bells and whistles – the developers have focused on functionality and they have done a great job.  The main profile page has a list of links on the left (including title and description, tags and date and time posted) and a list of tags on the right. You can use these individually or in combination to search your saved content.

Pinboard Online Backup and Privacy

When it comes to online backup, privacy is paramount. With Pinboard, you can make your stuff public if you want to, but you can also: use a secure connection by default, make bookmarks private automatically and get rid of click history.

You can also choose whether or not to let people see you have subscribed to them, keep your profile private, plus you can even opt to keep everything private with single click via a privacy lock button.

Why I Love Pinboard

The great thing is that Pinboard just works. Since I first set it up over 4 years ago, I haven’t had to change settings more than a couple of times.

I love the privacy settings and even though it’s not pretty, but I can find everything I want quickly via tag combinations. I can also edit descriptions for any bookmarks and can input my own descriptions for content I save via the Pinboard bookmarklet.


So what’s the catch? Unlike many other bookmarking and online backup tools, Pinboard isn’t free. The developers reckon that charging for the tool helps them keep working on it and keeps spammers out. It seems to have worked. The price isn’t a fixed fee but is based on the current number of users.

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I paid $5.50 to join four years ago and the price at the time of writing was $10.17 – it’s not a lot and it is a one-time fee. Since you get a heck of a lot of functionality for your money, this is one backup tool I think is worth paying for.