It doesn’t seem to be possible to send Tweets-with-images to Instagram (easy in reverse)? Can it be done?

Is it possible to post a Tweet and have it appear automatically on Instagram and have the tweeted image show up in Instagram too?1 If so, how?

A friend wanted to know if it’s possible / straightforward to post a Tweet (that contains an image) and have it appear on Instagram (with image showing). I spent some time trying to set it up for her and not succeeding. After reasonably extensive searching on Google, forums, Quora, IFTTT (for a ready-made recipe) and looking at blog posts highlighting potential workarounds etc we drew a blank and it seems that it’s not a straightforward thing. We’re not technical enough to faff about with Twitter’s API. We also assume we can’t be the first people to have tried this.

Instagram to Twitter
It is easy to do the reverse (Instagram to Twitter) but you need a third party intermediate, like IFTTT (If This Then That), for an image to show up in the tweet itself because Twitter doesn’t naturally show Instagram pictures as pictures2 just as links.

A tweeted picture of beautiful pink tulips posted via Instagram linked to Twitter via IFTTT

Above: this is a screenshot of the tweet linked below (in case it renders incorrectly on any given browser). It shows a picture appearing in the tweet and a link to view the pic on Instagram.

I’d assumed it would be straightforward to reverse the IFTTT ‘recipe’ so that a posted tweet could be reposted at Instagram (but only where a particular hashtag was used, to prevent all my friend’s tweets appearing as Instaposts!).

The reason she wanted to do it from Instagram to Twitter is in part because she prefers to use a laptop and you cant upload an image to Instagram from a laptop (also it’s easier to type the accompanying text with a keyboard). Also Insta to Twitter via IFTTT truncates part of the message if too long.

I use IFTTT as the intermediary between Twitter and Instagram so that every photo I post to Instagram is automatically tweeted out and, importantly, shows up as an image and not just as a link. Without using IFTTT you can connect Twitter to Instagram (eg directly from your phone’s settings) and the same will happen, but no photo will appear.

Footnotes

1 I think this wouldn’t be possible if the tweet contained a link because links in Twitter only show up as an image if the Twitter Card has been set up (you can check any link with Twitter’s Card Validator). Instagram is a different platform and doesn’t support Twitter cards anyway (see [2]).

2 “Last week [written in 2012], Facebook-owned Instagram decided to turn off support for Twitter Card functionality for its photos. Basically, you would no longer see the full images; rather, you’d see a cropped version.” TechCrunch). Without a third party app you just see a link to view the post on Instagram, with the app you see a picture in the tweet.

How to create a Twitter Moment from yours or others’ tweets – it’s a bit like Storify

atl;dr – gathering a bunch of Tweets onto a single page for ease of reading and sharing, via a web browser (don’t think you can do this on a phone).

Note, the instructions below are for using “#NewTwitter” (which has been around for some time now). If you are using the Good Twitter browser add-on to make your Twitter look the same as it did before they rolled out the new look then you can use Twitter’s instructions (which are now slightly out of date) and you will stil be able to create a new Moment from the down arrow to the right of any tweet, which New Twitter doesn’t enable.

  1. Open the moments editing window
  2. Create a new moment
  3. Add in content
    This is where you can also create a private moment that’s visible only to people who have the link.
  4. Using search to find tweets
    1. 4a. Using search to find older tweets
    2. 4b. Finding tweets that quote tweet another tweet (ie not replies)
  5. Adding tweets
    1. 5a. Adding a tweet to your moment
    2. 5b. Adding a tweet via its link
  6. Ordering the tweets in your moment
  7. Adding images to your moment
  8. Publish or save your moment for later
  9. Edit your moment after publishing
  10. Delete your moment
  11. Finding a tweet’s link / URL

Background
We don’t have Storify anymore, there are alternatives but nothing works as well as Storify did. Twitter’s own version is… adequate (and you can only collect tweets whereas Storify let you add in anything that could be embedded).

Isn’t it just the same as a thread?
Yes-ish, but it’s all on one page and you don’t have to click to view other tweets that Twitter’s randomly hidden.

What will you collect?
Just tweets. You might use this to collect together some of your own tweets, other people’s tweets that you’ve favourited or a bunch of tweets on a topic. You can also add the tweet by its link / URL (that’s very helpful) so if it’s an older tweet you can search for it first using Twitter’s  advanced search and copy the link / URL into your Moment. (See detailed bit on [Finding a tweet’s link / URL] below).

So in the absence of Storify re-appearing, here’s how to use Moments.

Instructions
1. Open the Moments editing window
Open the Moments editing window by clicking on the blue circle with 3 dots below your avatar, then click on Moments in the menu that pops up. You can also access it by changing my name to yours in this link https://twitter.com/JoBrodie/moments

Open the Moment editing window

If you’re using the Good Twitter add-on you’ll still have a Moments tab so you can access it that way.

2. Create a new moment
You’ll see your Moments page (mine shows two Moments I’ve previously created) and the ‘create new moment’ icon is highlighted with a yellow arrow.

The Moments landing page

3. Add in content
At the top of the new page the blue bar lets you sort tweets by oldest or newest first, and lets you save [Finish later] or [Publish]. You can re-find your partially completed Moment by following Instruction #1 above. The [••• More] option on the left lets you mark if your Moment will contain sensitive material and you can also choose to share your location with Twitter (or not) though your location is not published. You can also create a private moment with the ‘Make Moment link only’ which you can then share with people privately and it won’t be published on your profile or show up to people who don’t have the link.

Starting your Moment on Twitter

Give your moment a title and description. Once you’ve added a few tweets you’ll be able to select one that has a photo to do the [Set cover] option in the middle, or you can upload an image (here are some free ones from Pixabay).

The Add Tweets to your Moment panel at the bottom has four options:

  1. Tweets you’ve liked (your favorites) – this is the default option so you’ll just see your favourites and can click on the tick symbol next to any you want to add
  2. Tweets from a particular account (could be your own) – start typing the name of an account and when it appears in the autosuggest pop-up click on it
  3. Tweets that you find via search – you can use operators like from:username or to:username to narrow things down. You could also create a search string in advanced search and copy it into the search box.
  4. Tweets where you know its link / URL – you could also use Twitter’s  advanced search and copy the tweet’s link into the Moment (see [Finding a tweet’s link / URL] below). Once you have the link just paste it in to the box, pressing enter will add it to the moment (unless it’s already there in which case the option is greyed out).

4a. Using search to find older tweets
If the tweet you’re after doesn’t show up with a basic search (or if the tweet is quite old) you might need to hunt for it using search operators in the Moment’s search bar to target it. For example this would bring up all the tweets I sent mentioning biscuits in 2017 »biscuits from:jobrodie since:2017-01-01 until:2017-12-31« (see the results for this search).

You can run the search either in Twitter’s moments and add the tweets from there, or in the main Twitter search bar and copy the link into the moment.

4b. Finding tweets that quote tweet another tweet
People often quote tweet a tweet rather than reply to it, which means that not all responses will show up as replies or in the thread. You can check if a tweet has been quote tweeted by searching Twitter for its link, just put the whole URL (eg https:// twitter .com / username / status/ 0123456789 without spaces) into Twitter’s search and press enter. All the tweets that have quote tweeted it will show up (quote tweeting is logically identical to writing a tweet and pasting in another tweet’s link). See instruction #11 for how to find a tweet’s link in its timestamp.

5a. Adding a Tweet to your Moment
The tick symbol next to any tweet will let you add it to the Moment. In the picture below I’ve added the second tweet which emerged when I ran the targeted search for tweets I’d sent in 2017 about biscuits (!).

Adding a Tweet to a Moment using the Tick symbol.png

5b. Adding a tweet via its link
The link / URL of the other biscuit-themed tweet is below…

https://twitter.com/JoBrodie/status/909517501297577984

…pasting that into the

Add tweets to a moment by their link 1 of 2.png

Add tweets to a moment by their link 2 of 2.png

If Tweet is already there you get this alert.png

If you try and add a tweet that’s already there it’ll let you know.

6. Ordering the tweets in your moment
You can also use the up and down arrows to re-order the tweets in your moment but use the option at the top of the page if you want to re-order the whole thing in chronological (or reverse chronological) order. You can remove any tweet from your moment by clicking on the X next to it.

Move up or down with the arrows and delete with the X.png

7. Adding images to your Moment
Click on the Set Cover button near the top of the page. If your moment contains tweets with images then these pictures will show up and you can pick one. There’s also the + option to upload an image from your computer.

Set Cover image 1 of 2.png

Set Cover image 2 of 2 - uploading an image.png

Once you’ve chosen your cover image you’ll likely be immediately taken to an editing page and given the option to create cropped versions for people viewing on mobiles or tablets. You can move the image around in the panel on the left and you’ll see what it will look like cropped in the view on the right. Fiddle about with it until you’re happy, then press Apply. Or choose not to crop it for mobile (I’m not really sure what happens in that case!).

On the main Moment page you can also select any other images and crop them, the icon looks like this –

Crop for mobile.png

8. Publish or save your Moment for later
Once you’ve had enough Moment-ing you can either publish it or save it for later. Publishing just means that it’s visible to everyone else if they happen to look at your Moments page (mine’s https://twitter.com/JoBrodie/moments). A suggested tweet will appear inviting you to share this fact to your followers – it’s editable, or deletable / ignorable if you don’t want to publish it.

If you come back to publishing it later, go to your Moments page, click on the Moment you want to publish, look for three of these ••• to the right of its title, click on that and EDIT is the second option. That lets you edit and then publish your Moment.

At this point Twitter might suggest that you crop any images you’ve missed, for mobile viewers, or you can ignore that suggestion and publish anyway.

Twitter may ask you to crop other images if not already done before publishing the moment but you can ignore it.png
You can ignore and publish anyway.

Ready to publish your moment.png

Share this moment - it is optional.png
Once you’ve pressed ‘Publish’ (see pic above) an optional, editable tweet is presented to you which you can amend and send or dismiss with the X if you don’t want to share it (unless you’ve made it a secret moment it will be publicly visible on your Moments profile though).

9. Edit your moment after publishing
You can also edit a Moment retrospectively and it will be updated in real time. Follow Step #1 to bring up your list of moments, click on the moment you want to edit and look for the three dots •••, you will find Edit (also Delete) among the options.

Three dots.png

Delete or edit a moment.png

Click Edit and you will be taken to the editing window and there’ll be an alert to remind you that any changes you make are automatically updated.

Editing moment - alert.png

10. How to delete a moment
As for #9 but choose Delete instead of Edit. You can’t undo it (though deleting it doesn’t delete any of the original tweets so you can remake it).

11. Finding a tweet’s link / URL
Any Tweet’s URL / link can be found in its timestamp. In the pic below you can right-click on the time-since-tweet-sent link highlighted by a green pointer and use the browser option to copy the link location, then paste it into the relevant bit in instruction #5b. Twitter has its own thing, in the down-arrow menu highlighted by a yellow pointer, which lets you embed the tweet. That opens up a new tab and auto-scrolls down the page to a section on embedding, but if you scroll back upwards you can copy and paste the link written plainly and in full. The green arrow version is much quicker (and many things will let you embed a tweet just from its link alone, without needing a bit of code – but if you need the code you can find it there).

Where to get the URL for a Tweet - timestamp or down arrow

Happy Moment-ing!

I came across this fairly random biscuit tweet of mine which I thought I’d end with 🙂

 

Twitter will let users decide who can reply to their tweets – no idea how that could even work

Three potential workarounds that may thwart this
1. Wait for someone in a ‘panel tweet’ to reply and reply to them
2. Quote tweet the original tweet
3. Send a fresh tweet mentioning the original person

As is often the case I look forward to being proved wrong 😉

 


 

Twitter announces it’s going to let you limit who can reply to your tweet
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show conference Twitter’s Suzanne Xie said that the company planned to allow people to decide, before sending a tweet, who could reply to it. Apparently it will be possible to pick who gets to be in your conversation by selecting one of four options – Statement (a tweet to which no-one can reply), Panel – only those named within the tweet can reply, Group – as for Panel plus anyone the sender follows and Global – anyone can reply. This is intended to increase the health of conversations by reducing unpleasant interactions. The idea had also come up in an October 2019 interview with Kayvon Beykpour by The Verge.

But can it work?
I can’t help wondering if this is one of those things that sounds helpful but isn’t that great in practice. Surely this could only work as intended if the settings applied to the originating tweet are applied to the whole thread, otherwise people replying to others’ replies will wreck this. I can see the following scenario happening.

Can other people reply to the replyers?
Let’s imagine you send a Panel or Group tweet. I can’t reply to your tweet because I’m not in that panel / group. Someone who is in your chosen gang can reply and does so. If I am not blocked by them then I can reply to them. My reply is now in your thread. If you’ve blocked me then you won’t see it (everyone else will) but you may see any replies sent to me that include you.

I just have to wait for someone (that I can reply to) to reply first. Or I can quote tweet it (quoted tweets show up in notifications so you’ll see my ‘reply’ that way unless you’ve blocked me).

Me being able to reply to your replyer would seem to wreck Twitter’s reply-tweaking options unless the restriction (that you applied to your first tweet) is cascaded to the whole thread.

You can certainly set things so that you see notifications only from the people you follow, though that doesn’t stop those people from being able to reply. You can also, or will soon be able to, hide people’s replies (I don’t know how well this works if they have blocked you though).

Seeking more information from Twitter
I’ve asked Suzanne Xie and Kayvon Beykpour (from Twitter) how this will work and will add further info here if I get any. Interestingly they both started using Twitter in 2008 (a month before I joined) and have tweeted fewer than 7,000 tweets so they are not particularly heavy users. I do sometimes wonder if Twitter staff are particularly familiar with their own product…

A parallel with the block function
A similar ‘security theatre’ operates with blocks. Twitter implies that if Lydia blocks Kitty then Kitty cannot (a) see or (b) reply to Lydia’s tweets. Kitty only has to log out to solve (a) but it’s true that she can’t reply directly to Kitty’s tweet. But if Lizzie replies to Lydia (and Lizzie hasn’t blocked Kitty) then Kitty can reply to Lizzie and her tweet is now in Lydia’s thread, though Lydia won’t see the reply from Kitty. She can probably infer what was said from other replies though.

What have others said about the reply-limiting news?
There are lots of people who are pleased about this and think it a good idea. A point raised by Kayvon Beykpour was that it might help live Twitter chats by limiting who could contribute (see Social Media Today link below), though there have been third party apps that have helped with that in the past.

Where people have been less enthusiastic commenters have wondered if this is just going to let people post misleading opinions that can’t be directly challenged, as caeser_pounce put it “Finally public figures will be protected from criticism“. Twitter suggests the quote tweet option for such responses, which appear in the sender’s notifications, though quoted tweets don’t self-thread into the original thread as a reply would1.

It would also reduce “getting ratioed” (when replies exceed likes and RTs by some magnitude) which is no fun for the ratioee but informative for anyone looking at the tweet as they can see the volume of disagreement.

I have assumed (see my 3rd tweet above) that people can just create a new message and use that to reply to someone, so wondered what this feature will actually prevent in terms of negative interactions.

Shenmaxiu pointed out that there’ll be more screenshots posted which doesn’t necessarily help people using screen readers (don’t forget to switch on the option to add descriptions to your screenshots or images) or those on flakier connections.

Alain-Christian suggests that if a tweet has its replies restricted then that should also restrict who can see it in the first place and safindlay1980 can’t see the point of receiving statements in their timeline from people who don’t want their views challenged and would like the option to switch these off.

TarekOmarNafee wonders if it will apply to polls, restricting who can vote.

Notes
1 You could take the URL of your quote tweet and put it in a tweet in a reply somewhere in the thread (if it’s possible for you or someone else to reply). Example.

Further reading (articles from 8 or 9 January 2020)

 

How to scrub your Twitter timeline of iffy Tweets – for potential politicians etc

Note that I use the Good Twitter browser add-on to make Twitter look and behave how it used to before the recent big changes, so my screenshots may not match yours.

Every so often someone finds an old tweet from a political candidate which embarrasses them and in some cases wrecks their chance of being selected, or elected. It might well be for the best that these are uncovered, so people know what they’re dealing with, but this post looks at ways of deleting old and embarrassing tweets.

I’d assumed that political parties would have prepared some sort of Advice to Potential Candidates on handling previous social media posts, but the continued re-publication of people’s earlier dodgy tweets suggests otherwise. I’d also have assumed that there would be some sort of Reputation Management companies that could help with this. Maybe there are and people are failing to take advantage.

Table of Contents

  1. Before you delete
  2. How to delete a Tweet / undo a ReTweet
  3. Search for the unwise Tweets you’ve sent

1. Before you delete

The point of deleting a dodgy old Tweet is to hide something that you once said and either now disagree with, or still agree with it but would rather pretend you didn’t. Deleting such Tweets is therefore largely an exercise in dishonesty and self-preservation – I’m sure you’ll go far in politics 🙂

Keep copies: It’s probably a good idea to take and keep a screenshot (how to do that) of anything you’re going to delete, perhaps including the URL / address if you’re able. I’d also recommend taking screenshot copies of the conversation thread if it’s in one, for context. Be aware that someone else may already have a screencap of your Tweet and taken out of context it may look much worse.

Will your deletions be flagged?: Politwoops UK (there are versions for several countries) records whenever a politician deletes a Tweet and if your account is being monitored then a copy of the Tweet and when you deleted it will live on there.

Tweets you send and delete seconds later may be noted: If someone is viewing Twitter via a web browser and if they leave the tab open then a build up of tweets gives a note like this, clicking on it brings up the waiting Tweets that arrived but weren’t shown and if yours was among them it will show up (even if you deleted it seconds later). This also happens if you reply to someone, and they have their Notifications page open in a tab. The tweet would disappear once they refresh the page but your tweet will likely be seen.

See Nine More Tweets sign

Is it better to own your mistake?: If you come across a dodgy tweet you’ve sent and regret it consider if saying so is better than deleting / denying it. Also will it look worse if you’re found to have deleted a tweet and then someone produces a copy of it?

It may all blow over anyway: lots of people mature over the several years they’ve been on Twitter and this progress may be more dramatic depending on how young they were when they joined. It’s not always fair to assume the worst, though of course it does depend on what people have discovered that you’ve written.

2. How to delete a Tweet / undo a ReTweet

Twitter’s help files have a whole page on how to delete a Tweet or undo a ReTweet. After the preamble on that page you’ll find an option to
“View instructions for… [Apple phones] [Android phones] [desktop computers]”

If you delete a DM (Direct Message) it’s deleted only from your own account, not the recipient’s.

3. Search for the unwise Tweets you’ve sent

Note that Twitter no longer shows every single thing in its search results. It can hide tweets it thinks are low value or ones that lots of people have reported as being offensive. Sometimes it shows the ‘best’ or ‘most relevant’ tweets first, so it’s wise to use a range of different search strategies to find Tweets if you suspect they’re there but not appearing in your results.

A basic search might involve searching from:yourname keyword and seeing if there’s anything particularly heinous in there, and deleting it if there is (while bearing in mind my earlier points about screencapping and so on).

As an example here’s everything I’ve ever said about muffins (a lot less than I’d have thought).

From:You to the world

  • My top tweets about muffins from:JoBrodie muffins
  • All my muffin-themed tweets ordered by latest first – from:JoBrodie muffins (achieved by choosing ‘Latest’ from the available options after doing the first search)

If you suspect you’ve sent a dodgy tweet to someone you can include that in your search string.

From:You to someone else

  • If you’ve replied to one of their tweets try – from:YourName to:OtherUser
  • If you’ve replied to several people including them try – from:YourName OtherUser

You can also find all the tweets you sent in 2017, or 2011 or between the 4th and 16th March 2013, using the Advanced Search (in fact I’d recommend familiarising yourself with the Advanced options anyway).

Note that the calendar input used to be be a bit skittish on Advanced Search. I’d previously recommend sticking any old date in then neatening it up on the search results page but it seems to have improved lately.

Twitter Advanced Search

Advanced Search dates uses the YYYY-MM-DD style so 2011-01-01 is 1 Jan 2011 and 2011-11-27 is 27 Nov 2011. I think of this as ‘US style’ but my friend Nick tells me it might be called something else 🙂

You can click on the bold year / month at the top to zoom out or zoom in on a particular year or month range.

Twitter Advanced Search 2011

After you’ve run the search you’ll see something like this, plus a whole load of tweets.

Twitter Advanced Search Results

The oval-shaped search box next to the avatar is where you can manually tinker with the dates. That search results page is linked here, you can adapt it for your search.

Other Tweets you’ve replied to
You might not be able to remember who you’ve sent a reply to, but if you think you’ve agreed with or endorsed someone else’s dodgy tweet then have a think about the sorts of things you might say in reply to them, such as “Typical”, “Agree” or “haha” etc and search for tweets you’ve sent saying that.

ReTweets
I’m afraid I don’t know how you could search for your ReTweets of other people’s tweets. You can certainly Un-ReTweet them (if you’ve found them, see above). If I find out I’ll add it here. Possibly there are more technical solutions (where you interact with Twitter’s API) but that’s beyond this blog and my skill level.

Searching through your own archive
You can download your Twitter archive (you request it by scrolling to the bottom of that page and clicking “Request data”, Twitter packages up your tweets, then revisit the page a bit later and download the zip file they give you) but it’s become much less useful recently. It used to give you a single index.htm file that you could open in a web browser and call up your previous tweets now sitting locally on your computer. You could even click through and read them on Twitter.com (and delete them if you wanted to). It doesn’t seem as straightforward now though and I’ve not really explored this option as a quick way of searching a copy of your tweets.

Twitter Download data

More from Twitter’s help files on How to download your Twitter archive

My friend Lynn wondered about downloading your tweets as a spreadsheet but I’m afraid I don’t know how it’s done – I didn’t even know it was possible (beyond copying a copy of every tweet you or someone else sends to a Google Sheet using IFTTT – note that this only works for tweets sent after you’ve set that up, not previous ones). I’ve got over 100,000 tweets though so I’m keen not to look at them in a spreadsheet format.

 

 

 

 

 

Make Twitter Useable Again

Screenshot 2019-07-23 08.56.14

Yesterday I was infected with the #NewTwitter virus meaning that I’d been upgraded to Twitter’s latest changes. I’m pretty grumpy about unnecessary change, particularly as all my carefully tweaked settings were no longer working and I was exposed to the full horrors of what Twitter’s like on desktop (web browser) without these settings. Scrolling through I could see that “So and so follows X, who sent this tweet” (who cares?) or “So and so liked this tweet” (just show me their RTs). Grim 😉

I’ve thrown everything at it to reverse this and so far it’s holding fast.

  1. Try and go back to Old Twitter
  2. See latest tweets first (chronological Twitter)
  3. Unsuggest the suggested tweets (X follows Y, X liked Z)
  4. Hiding side panels (“Who to follow” & “Trends”) and promoted tweets
  5. Troubleshooting
  6. Not yet solved (1): Proper Length Tweets
  7. Not yet solved (2): Blimey the images take up a lot of space in comment RTs
  8. Things I like about New Twitter

1. See if you can restore “Legacy Twitter” aka OldTwitter

1a. Simple link
To get back to legacy Twitter I’ve found that this works but perhaps it won’t after a while. It’s lost if you refresh the page, but new tweets show up in a panel at the top (‘See XX new tweets’, example below) as before so it’s fine.

You must RIGHT-CLICK and open in new tab to make this work. Don’t click on the link.

No need to refresh the page to view new tweets as Twitter provides this auto-updating feature, clicking on it shows the latest tweets.Screenshot 2019-07-23 08.42.49

1b. “Good Twitter” extension / add on
This works by convincing your browser that it’s unable to support new Twitter, forcing it to display Old Twitter. I’ve seen good things about it on Twitter but use Firefox so haven’t tested it myself.

For Chrome users

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/goodtwitter/jbanhionoclikdjnjlcmefiofgjimgca

Screenshot 2019-07-26 22.52.10

If you find afterwards that videos seem to be mucked up have a look on that page in the Reviews section, it seems to be more due to Chrome than to the add on. You might need to log out and in again to get it to work and there’s an explanation on the main page as to why it says it wants access to your browser history (apparently it doesn’t, it just needs permission to clear the cache).

Other Chrome extensions: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions

For Firefox users

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/goodtwitter/

Screenshot 2019-07-26 22.53.48

Other FireFox add-ons: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/

1c. A bit more tinkering involved
There are also add-ons that might affect more than just Twitter, and a technique for typing in a string to override something. This might be getting a bit technical for me (and 1a worked for me so I’ve not tested further). The aim with all is to fool Twitter into thinking that your browser cannot support its latest version.

User-agent switcher for Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/uaswitcher/
User-agent switcher for Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/user-agent-switcher-for-c/djflhoibgkdhkhhcedjiklpkjnoahfmg

and

For those who just want to make the best of the new Twitter there are options to show latest tweets first, hide Who to follow suggestions, Trends and the in-timeline suggested tweets.

2. Show latest tweets first not ‘top tweets’ (chronological Twitter)

Once your Twitter home page looks like this at the top you should just see tweets in the order in which they’re sent…
Screenshot 2019-07-23 08.01.51

…to get there click on the blue stars icon and choose ‘Latest Tweets’ over ‘Home’. The bad news is that it will spontaneously revert so this is probably not a permanent solution. I’ve already tweaked my settings so the picture below gives me the option to return to the ‘wrong’ one.

Screenshot 2019-07-23 08.03.40

3. Removing the suggested tweets from timeline

This seems to be very effective though it takes quite a long time to manually paste all of the individual phrases into the ‘mute this word’ section. If anyone knows of a way to speed this up?

You can leap to your Muted Words setting on desktop here https://twitter.com/settings/muted_keywords on mobile it will be via the gear icon. See also Twitter’s help page on Muting stuff, which curiously doesn’t mention this.

For copying and pasting purposes the text types are: RankedOrganicTweet, ActivityTweet, suggested_rank_organic_tweet, suggest_sc_tweet, suggest_ranked_timeline_tweet, suggested_grouped_tweet_hashtag, suggest_pyle_tweet, suggested_recycled_tweet_inline, suggest_activity_tweet, suggest_recycled_tweet, suggest_activity, suggest_recap, suggest_who_to_follow, generic_activity_Highlights

I set these so that they were muted for everyone, forever.

4. Hiding side panels and promoted tweets

I really struggled with this one as my normal settings didn’t help. I’ve got both AdBlock Plus and UBlock Origin on Firefox (possibly they conflict with each other!). When Twitter began showing us irrelevant stuff I activated these to clear the timeline of crud but noticed that doing so also missed out other tweets. I’d toggle between having the blockers ON or OFF during searching and eventually noticed that Twitter just stopped showing me the stuff I didn’t want to see, even without the blockers on. Hmm.

Stopped working yesterday though and it took a few goes of pressing buttons to return to normal.

I’m using Firefox, not sure if it will be the same for other browsers. In the left panel with the small red logo is AdBlock Plus and it’s the “Block element” bit that lets you hover over an offending panel (or liked tweet) to set up an exception to hide that bit when the page loads. I think you need to add Element Hiding Helper to activate this. In the right hand panel with the large blue ON/OFF switch is uBlock Origin and it’s the dropper tool that you use to select an element you want to block.

Another solution I’ve seen for removing the distraction of trends is to change your location to a country whose language is unintelligible to you. Then you’ll still see it but it won’t mean much.

Caveat 1: be a bit careful when blocking elements and move the mouse carefully to see what is picked up. You want to block only the thing you want to block and not all the bits around it. It’s fiddly to undo.

Caveat 2: This can also hide other tweets (including your own) especially those with Twitter cards (images etc). It seems to do this fairly randomly but you will be missing tweets. If you need to run a search it’s best to switch off any blockers to ensure the best results.

Note that this automatically hides all promoted / advertised tweets. I actually didn’t mind those so much and have no objection to Twitter making some money but alas they stuffed up the user experience.

5. Troubleshooting

Now that I’ve had a couple of days playing with the adaptations I’ve made to New Twitter I’ve spotted some things that you may want to be aware of. Your own experience would depend on how much of the stuff above you’ve tweaked and what method you’ve chosen.

Not every tweet shown
Using AdBlockers and Element Hider Helper or whatever it’s called has always caused the minor glitch of some tweets with images in not showing up. If you are running a search for someone’s tweets or a hashtag and want to be sure of seeing everything it’s worth switching off the Ad Blocker or uBlock Origin temporarily (toggling off/on), and pressing refresh.

Settings
I’ve also spotted that I can no longer interact with Settings while I’ve got the blocks in place, it just shows up as a blank page. Toggling fixes.

Reply threads
Also if you’re replying to people in a thread and want to select who gets the reply that doesn’t work with the Blocks on and you need to toggle them to see a list of names to put a tick by (or remove the tick from).

Saved searches
This no longer seems to work in New Twitter. Fine in Legacy Twitter but doesn’t transfer over.

6. Not yet solved (1): Proper Length Tweets

When Twitter brought in 240 character length tweets everything suddenly took up a lot of room but the Proper Length Tweets (PLT) add-on solved that nicely. Unfortunately it no longer seems to work so the search is on for a replacement. For comparison here are tweets of mine screenshot from New and Old Twitter. It’s a lot easier to scroll through many tweets with this add-on working, particularly where people have used the full number of characters.

My example doesn’t show this off to its best effect as I’ve picked a tweet of mine that isn’t that large to begin with but you can see the difference between PLT on (top pic) and PLT off (bottom pic). When tweets have more characters the difference is more pronounced and the add-on makes scrolling much quicker as the tweets take up less space.

Screenshot 2019-07-23 08.35.53

Screenshot 2019-07-23 08.37.13

7. Not yet solved (2): Blimey the images take up a lot of space in comment RTs

First image shows what a comment RT normally looks like on Legacy Twitter and below is the same tweet screenshotted from New Twitter. The second one is the only tweet I can see at the time on the screen in New Twitter so it’s just taking up more space than needed.

Screenshot 2019-07-23 08.30.12

Screenshot 2019-07-23 08.30.26

8. Things I like about New Twitter

  • It tells you what platform (“Twitter for iPhone” or “Twitter for Android” or “Twitter Web Client” or “Twitter Web App” for desktop users) someone’s used to send a tweet. This can be vaguely informative in a mildly forensic sense – you can generally tell if someone’s tweeting from a phone or a laptop. I suspect it will also show tweets that have been sent by clicking on a ‘tweet this’ button from another website, or automated / delayed tweets, but haven’t played around with this

Screenshot 2019-07-23 08.33.50

  • It tells you if a tweeted image has had an image description added for visually impaired people [how to do that] – though I’ve not worked out how to read others people’s text. See ALT in the screenshot below, can’t interact with it though.

Screenshot 2019-07-23 08.25.47

 

Image credit is spanner / wrench by me (using shapes in PowerPoint) applying pressure to the Twitter bird logo, shrunk to fit (from Pixabay https://pixabay.com/vectors/twitter-tweet-twitter-bird-312464/). Here’s a copy of the .pptx

Twitter’s bringing in a ‘hide replies’ function (available in Canada first), but will it work?

Twitter’s rolling out, first in Canada [a day after posting this the tool was temporarily suspended to fix a glitch], a new tool that lets someone hide replies to their tweets – thanks to @hapsome for tipping me off about this. This will streamline the thread though people will still be able to view what replies have been hidden, for transparency. This could be used in a positive way to quieten spam or other unhelpful replies but might also be used to downgrade tweets correcting your misinformation or merely disagreeing with you.

I’m in the UK so can’t test it yet but my immediate thought was, will the original tweeter be able to hide tweets in the thread that are sent to another reply in that thread, or only be able to act on tweets that are direct replies?

For example

You send a tweet
  |
I send a daft reply [which you can hide]

versus

You send a tweet
  |
Someone else replies agreeing with you
  |
I send a daft reply to them [but can you hide this one?]

If they can’t block replies that are sent in reply to someone else then I can’t really see the point of this new feature.

Most people actually pre-empt rogue replies from getting in the way by using the ‘add another tweet’ function in the preparation of a thread, before publishing all the threaded tweets together. This prevents anyone inserting a tweet into that thread (though they can add replies at the end) so that would seem to be a solution to maintain a thread’s integrity. [Edit – actually people can reply perfectly well to individual replies in a thread but Twitter seems to show them at the end anyway]

Incidentally replying to replies is also the way of getting a tweet in a thread of someone who’s blocked you, as you can’t reply to someone blocking you, but you can reply to a reply. It’s almost the same as the example above, with a slight variation.

You send a tweet
  |
I can’t reply because you’ve blocked me

versus

You send a tweet
  |
Someone else replies to you
  |
I reply to them so my tweet is now in your thread (or you can use this to reply to my thread if I’ve blocked you)

Hopefully people in Canada will find out what tweets in the thread they can hide, or I’ll get a chance to test it soon enough.

This also means that plenty of my answers on Quora are now instantly out of date 😉

Looks like people will be able to reply to hidden replies once they’ve spotted them in the ‘show hidden replies’ option, and the tweet to which they’re replying may show up as ‘Tweet Unavailable‘ to other people if viewing in the home timeline (see Twitter’s support page for replies linked below).

Further reading
Twitter launches the ‘Hide Replies’ feature, in hopes of civilizing conversations (17 July 2019) TechCrunch

See section on Hidden Replies in Twitter Support page on About Replies and Mentions Twitter

See more in the search results on Google for twitter canada hide replies