How To Find a Twitter User’s Join Date When It’s Not Displayed

You’ve probably noticed that some Twitter accounts display a ‘Joined’ date on the profile page, just below the bio and location/website details. You can see that whilst my @Twirpz account doesn’t show the join date…

Twirpz Twitter

… My @Meetaplex account does…

Meetaplex Twitter

So what if you encounter a profile which doesn’t denote the join date, and you want to know when the account was created? Over time there have been a number of apps for this purpose, but here in 2015, apps built to use the old API system no longer work, and it’s much more difficult to find a reliable means of establishing a join date for every account.

So here’s a workaround everyone can use. It’s not an app. It’s a bit of geek activity, and it works regardless of whether the account is protected. This is, however, a guide specifically for desktop users.

The method runs in two steps. Step 1 is to view the source code of the profile page you’re on, and Step 2 is to do a simple word search. Don’t be put off by the multi stages – it’s really quick and easy, and once you’ve done it the first time, it takes literally 15 seconds. If you’re a ‘power user’ with your browser, it’s actually quicker than messing with an app.

VIEWING THE PAGE SOURCE

If you use a mainstream browser, it’ll let you view the HTML code for any Web page. If you haven’t done this before, you may need to consult your browser’s instructions for exact details on how to access the source code. But in most browsers you can take a shortcut, right-click on a page, and select View Page Source (or View HTML Source, or similar) from the context menu. You can see an example below. I used Opera, by the way…

Twitter Page Source Context Menu Opera

Once you’ve clicked View Page Source, you’ll get a page of code, like this…

Twitter Source Code Opera Browser

THE WORDSEARCH

Now all you need do is bring up your browser’s search box (you can normally do this by clicking Ctrl+F), then search for the word: “created_”, with an underscore after it. Don’t use the quotes.

Your browser will locate the word, and in the code to the right of it, you’ll see a time and date. The time and date the account was created. I’ve highlighted the time and date in yellow in my screen capture, but you won’t see that highlighting. You’ll just see the word “created_” highlighted, marking your place.

These pages of source code can be a mine of information, and in this instance the page source delivers the goods very nicely indeed.

Please be aware that all modern sites can evolve very quickly, and that Twitter could change the way it structures its HTML at any time. For now though, problem solved.

Author: Bob Leggitt

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