Tue. Oct 19th, 2021

Discover third-party Twitter apps that assist you to observe profile updates, search likes, filter and kind tweets, get extra context about accounts, and emphasize accessibility.

Illustration: Twitter bird logo in center, with logos and company names from the 5 companies covered in the article (Flocknet, favourites.io, Visual ALT, Tweet Shelf, Twemex)

Illustration: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic 

Twitter has grown far past its preliminary roots as a no-more-than-140-characters-per-tweet microblogging service. Today, a tweet might include as many as 280 characters, or it may comprise a GIF, a video (as much as 140 seconds lengthy) or as much as 4 photographs. You could share a stay video stream on Twitter or host a stay audio-only dialog with Twitter Areas. And Twitter continues to check new performance, corresponding to Twitter Communities and tweaks to TweetDeck.

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What’s scorching at TechRepublic

However even with all of Twitter’s modifications, I proceed to depend on third-party instruments for a number of options. I take advantage of every of the 5 apps highlighted beneath. A few them, together with Flocknet and Favourites.io, I’ve used for a number of years as a paying buyer. In case you’re an avid person of Twitter, every of those apps is value exploring. (The entire apps work with Chrome and on a Chromebook.)

Emphasize picture accessibility on Twitter

Once you share a picture with Twitter, be sure that so as to add a description—often known as alt (quick for different) textual content—in order that individuals who might not have the ability to view the picture should perceive what the picture comprises. The alt textual content for photographs could also be accessed by display screen readers, however there is no Twitter setting to show alt textual content as of September 2021.

The free Social visible alt textual content Chrome extension by Nick DeNardis shows the alt textual content for photographs as you browser Twitter.com. The alt textual content shows in white textual content on the backside of photographs (Determine A, left). Photos that lack alt textual content present with a crimson bar on the backside (Determine A, proper).

Determine A

Two screenshots: (left) @TwitterA11y tweet with and image with ALT text displayed in white text on a blue background at the bottom of the image, (right) @TechRepublic tweet with an image without ALT text, with a red rectangular bar at the bottom of the image.

As soon as put in in Chrome, the Social visible alt textual content extension shows the alt textual content for photographs on Twitter (as proven on the left, within the block on the backside of the picture). Photos with out alt textual content show with a crimson bar (proper) on the backside of every picture.

Search and floor contact data on Twitter

Flocknet gathers Twitter profile data, corresponding to bio, location and hyperlinks, for each your followers and the folks you might be following. You could then search your Twitter community: Do I do know anybody in Portland? (Determine B) Who of my followers has Microsoft of their bio?

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Flocknet highlights latest Twitter profile edits (Determine B), which helps you to simply determine when somebody modified roles, moved or edited their bio to emphasise completely different pursuits. Flocknet equally surfaces location modifications. You possibly can set alerts to be notified when a time period is added to a profile identify, bio or location. And Flocknet Flows provide you with a approach to group contacts in varied methods, such that Flocknet can function a streamlined contact administration system constructed on Twitter.

Flocknet expenses primarily based on the whole variety of contacts (accounts adopted plus following) within the system. For a complete of as much as 5,000 contacts, the worth is $5 monthly. A restricted free providing supplies restricted search options together with day by day following and weekly follower syncs.

Determine B

Screenshot of Flocknet search for the word "Portland" in the author's account, with three results, two displayed (@NTEN and @marshallk), along with recent edits marked in the profiles, to highlight changes (e.g., much as tracked changes in a document).

Flock.web helps you search your Twitter contacts and monitor profile modifications, amongst different options.

Filter and kind tweets

TweetShelf enables you to filter and kind your Twitter timeline and lists, which makes it a useful gizmo to find content material of curiosity to your contacts. Choose a stream (e.g., House for accounts you might be following or any of the Twitter Lists you observe) to show “Tales” shared to that record (Determine C). Regulate the show to slender the tales proven by content material kind talked about (e.g., article, web sites, books, podcasts, movies), by time (e.g., at this time, final two hours, final 4 hours), or by variety of buddies (e.g., 1, 2, 3) sharing a narrative. Moreover, you may type by most shared first, newest shared first or newest printed first.

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TweetShelf affords iOS and Android apps, in addition to an online model. The free model enables you to type and filter your timeline and curated lists, obtain a day by day e-mail digest and retailer 25 latest gadgets. The premium model, priced at slightly below $6 monthly or $54 per 12 months, provides entry to lists you observe, help for a number of accounts, further date filters, entry to an RSS feed and extra.

Determine C

Screenshot of Tweet Shelf, showing @awolber Weather Twitter list, with top items from yesterday (e.g., three tweets, each shared by three people; along with two tweets, each shared by two people).

TweetShelf enables you to type your timeline and lists to determine often shared content material.

Save, search and group likes on Twitter

Favourites.io is an online app that makes it easy to look tweets you’ve got preferred—or, because the motion was referred to as, favorited. (And, sure, the app is from a British developer, so be sure that so as to add the “u” in case you default to American English.) For instance, I usually Like tweets that point out research, experiences and new articles. I take advantage of Favourites.io to seek for key phrases (e.g., “Google” as proven in Determine D) and discover these preferred tweets rapidly, generally years later. Favourites.io prices €29 per 12 months (rather less than $34 per 12 months).

Determine D

Screenshot of @awolber My Favourites account, with a search for the keyword

Favourites.io enables you to search tweets you’ve got preferred.

Get context, historical past and streamlined search on Twitter

Twemex (@TwemexApp) replaces the Twitter sidebar on the net (the place What’s Taking place, Who to Comply with and a search bar in any other case show) with entry to enhanced search in addition to further context and historical past for accounts. For instance, if you’re on a Twitter profile web page, Twemex shows that account’s most preferred Tweets (Determine E). Or, when searching a timeline, you would possibly select from Random Highlights, On This Day, Latest Highlights or Deliberately Clean. On the prime of the sidebar, there is a search field that shows a number of search tip instructions when chosen: /me, /follows, /person, /record, /from:<person> amongst others. The app web site signifies that the power to look likes and bookmarks is “coming quickly.” As of September 2021, Twemex is free and can stay so whereas it’s in beta.

Determine E

Screenshot of Twitter.com at the @preakeltorg profile, with Twemex sidebar on the right, with a search box at the top, and two Highlighted Tweets below (with 33 and 22 likes, respectively, from March 20, 2020 and April 25, 2018).

Twemex replaces the proper sidebar on Twitter.com (as proven right here in Chrome) with easy accessibility to enhanced search, in addition to further details about an account, corresponding to most-liked Tweets from the account.

What Twitter instruments do you utilize?

Along with the above, I proceed to make use of each the Omnibox Twitter and Twitter account detector Chrome extensions (as lined in my earlier article, 7 Chrome extensions that can make you extra productive on Twitter). And I proceed to observe different instruments, corresponding to dewey.co and Chirr App. Do you utilize any of the above apps? What do you consider them? Are there different third-party instruments or extensions you depend on to profit from Twitter? Let me know what third-party Twitter apps you discover useful, both with a remark beneath or, in fact, on Twitter (@awolber).

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