tBirthday Twitterformat Proposal


/birthday [today|0]
<strong>/birthday</strong> [<em>tomorrow</em>|<em>-1</em>]
<strong>/birthday</strong> [<em>-2</em>:<em>-6</em>]
@user /birthday


The tBirthday Twitterformat (e.g., /birthday tomorrow) is used to alert your followers to your impending birthday. Presents and well wishes may follow. Twitter clients that implement tBirthday can automatically tweet to your followers on the day of your birthday to alert them (or perhaps start alerting them a few days in advance). Similarly, you can receive birthday reminders from your friends.

Raison d'être

Birthdays are fun. They're even more fun when you know when your friends birthdays are and when your followers know that it's your birthday!

Manual usage

The tBirthday Twitterformat is simple enough to be authored manually by users. e.g.,


The above states that today is your birthday and it is synonymous with /birthday today and /birthday 0

@aral /birthday

When sent to a specific user, the tBirthday asks their Twitter client for their birthday. Twitter clients should implement privacy controls that let the user decide whether or not to reveal their birthday and, if they do, how much of it they choose to reveal (e.g., only the date and month and not the year).

Implementation guide for Twitter client authors

A. Authoring

  1. Ask the user for their birthday
  2. Ask the user how much of their birthday information, if any of it, you should reveal when asked
  3. Ask the user whether or not you should tweet reminders to their followers as their birthday nears and when and how often to do so

B. Presenting

When a birthday notice is received:

Display the birthday notice in a special manner. For example, display a badge on the user's Twitter icon with a count-down (or the day of their birthday)

Automatically tweeting birthday reminders:

If the user's settings allow it, and respecting the user's privacy settings, tweet automatic updates to alert their followers of their impending birthday.

Responding to birthday requests:

If the users privacy settings allow it (and to the extent that they allow it), tweet a response with the user's birthday information.


This Twitterformat Proposal is released under a Creative Commons Attribution License.