Three Twitter tools that will positively change the tweets you see
Changes that have been made to the Twitter algorithm in recent years have progressively changed the experience that users are having on Twitter.
The type of tweets that were fed to you in 2017 would be dramatically different to the tweets that are being fed to you now.
Twitter users are now seeing more replies to tweets and seeing tweets that are up to 24 hours old.
There’s a simple way to opt out of the algorithmic feed of tweets. To see the latest tweets first – ie in chronological order of the time that they’re posted – click on ‘home’ in your news feed – then, tap on the star that has the two plus signs – it’s located at the top right of your Twitter app. Select ‘latest tweets.’
In general terms, the algorithm changes that have been made to the feed of tweets are designed to keep you engaged with the Twitter app for longer and more frequently.
The algorithm on Twitter isn’t as advanced as the algorithms used by Google and Facebook. And, for most users who follow news and sports updates, it means they’ll be fed similar content from multiple organisations.
On my Twitter account, I follow a lot of news organisations and journalists – and this means that for most breaking news items, I’ll see the same updates in tweets from dozens of people for up to 12–18 hours. The repetition of content results in a poor user experience for me on Twitter.
Below are the three things that I regularly apply to my Twitter account – and I hope these three tips help you too:
Mute keywords, hashtags, phrases and @accounts
A couple of years ago, Twitter introduced a powerful muting feature. Users can simply mute keywords, hashtags, phrases and Twitter accounts. This is very helpful in an election year. For example, you can mute election candidates and political / protest hashtags.
Twitter will ask you to apply a time period for the muting eg forever, 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days.
How to apply a mute: Settings and privacy / Privacy and safety / Muted / Muted Words / Add word, hashtag, phrase or @person.
At the time of writing this article, on my Twitter account, I’ve muted a U.S. political hashtag and the name of a Hollywood actor who sadly died. For both issues, I felt that I was across the various news angles, and I applied a temporary mute on the hashtag, name and Twitter handle.
Let’s say you don’t want to not see the tweets of a country’s president or prime minister, but even though you’ve unfollowed their account, other people you follow on Twitter retweet them and push their tweets into your Twitter news feed.
Or maybe you might be on holidays and you want a break from tweets you normally see in your professional environment.
Twitter enables you to mute Twitter accounts. I use this feature to silence accounts that I politely don’t want to hear from. (I use the blocking tool to stop seeing tweets from bots).
How to mute Twitter accounts: Select the account you want to mute / Tap on the button at the top right of any of the account’s tweets and select ‘Mute @exampleaccount’.
How to unmute an account: Settings and privacy / Safety / Muted / Muted Accounts / Select the account / Tap on the red muted button / Tap ‘Unmute @exampleaccount’
There are no algorithms inside Twitter Lists. This means that there is less ‘noise’ in the feed of tweets inside a Twitter List. And the tweets appear chronologically.
You can create your own Twitter Lists, or easily follow a Twitter List that is on another Twitter account.
Your five favourite Lists appear across the top of your Twitter app – this makes them easily accessible for you.
Below are four popular Lists that are on my personal Twitter account:
Using these tools – or a combination of the tools – will improve your Twitter experience.
Or maybe you’re happy to accept the algorithmic feed of tweets everyday.
One last thing
If you’re a high profile person who receives a lot of notifications for replies on your tweets, try muting the reply-notifications by clicking the button at the top right hand corner of your tweet – then click ‘mute this conversation.’
Hopefully these simple tips will help you enjoy your social media experience.
See you on Twitter @BrendenWood – don’t mute me!