If I like a Twitter post & unlike it in less than 5 seconds will the person still be notified? (Unknown / maybe)

This is my answer to the above question on Quora (question title shortened a bit for this post).


Probably not, but not definitely not – it depends. The unluckiest scenario for a mis-liked tweet would be the person having their notifications tab open, looking at it and clicking to see it update with your like which later disappears – but that’s pretty unlikely. As [anoter respondent] says it’s more likely that they’d get a notification of the like but when they click to see what it was nothing would show up.

Email notifications
Another possibility would be that the like is included in the digest email sent out to people who have notifications emailed to them, I don’t think this includes absolutely every type of interaction though and a like that is quickly unliked might not be captured, but I suppose it’s possible. (See ‘Activity related to you or your tweets’ on this page How to update your email preferences).

Web notifications
A more likely situation would be if they have Web Notifications switched on, which sends a little floating pop up to inform (or annoy) you that someone’s done something to one of your tweets. It’s possible, but not certain, that a like would be flagged up in this way but Twitter indicates that it doesn’t alert you to every single action performed on your tweets so it may decide a like can be ignored, more info at How to enable web and browser notifications

I’ve temporarily switched on web notifications to take this screen shot to illustrate that you can opt in to receive likes (but I don’t know if it reports every like). So someone might be looking in another tab and still be notified that you’ve liked their tweet…

By the way the options are ‘Tailored for you’ or ‘By anyone’ so I suppose the anyone one is more likely to flag up your brief like.

 

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• Downloading your old Twitter faves, setting up IFTTT to capture new ones

Table of Contents

  1. Capturing old favourites
  2. Capturing new favourites ‘going forwards’
  3. Useful background info

1. Capturing old favourites
To download your already-liked favourites do the following

  1. Log into Twitter
  2. Go to tweetbook.in and authorise it to access your account
  3. Select a time range, choose Favorites and create your PDF e-book of your favourited tweets

If you have as many favourites as I have (3,502 over 7 years, oops) you probably won’t be able to get them all in one go (2012 alone yielded a 134 page PDF!) but you have the option of trying to grab them all at once.

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Fig 1. Authorise Tweetbook.in with Twitter

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Fig 2. Pick a date range… or leave blank to pick all (it may fail if you have lots)

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Fig 3. Once your tweetbook is ready the green ‘Download’ button will appear

The output
Each page of the PDF has only a handful of tweets on it (it’s not very efficient) but the timestamp is hyperlinked so you can search for a tweet (Ctrl+F or Command+F to search within any document) and then find the original on Twitter.

Caution: I don’t know if it will display only public tweets that you’ve followed or, because you’ve logged in, if it can pick up any tweets from locked (private) accounts that you follow. Be aware that if you publishly share the contents you might be sharing tweets that people want kept private.

2. Capturing new favourites ‘going forwards’
You can use an IFTTT recipe so that every time you click favourite / like on a tweet it will be saved in some way of your choosing – for example you might use a Google spreadsheet to capture the tweet, or email it to yourself.

To do this… do this

  1. Log in to Twitter and Google Drive / Gmail*
  2. Visit IFTTT and create an account.
  3. This is an example of a recipe you can use:
    Twitter Likes (Favorites) to Google Spreadsheet (other recipe options available*)
  4. You’ll be taken through the steps of connecting your Google Drive as one ‘channel’ and your Twitter  account as another channel – this allows your Twitter account to save your favourites to a Google Drive spreadsheet directly (you don’t need to set that up, it happens automatically).
  5. Favourite a tweet then go and visit your Google Drive and you’ll find a new spreadsheet created with your favourite in. After 1,000 tweets the system will create a fresh spreadsheet (same name with ‘1’ appended, and so on).

*or Evernote, or some other capturing system, examples here and here

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3. Useful background info
Favouriting a tweet does not trap it permanently – if the original is deleted then you do not have a copy of it so ‘post-favouriting-processing’ would be necessary to capture it.

Other ways to capture a tweet include

  • taking a screenshot (it can be helpful to include its address / URL)
  • embedding it in a blog or Storify (in both cases subsequent deletion of the original won’t matter as your copy will remain)
  • use Freezepage to capture a copy of the ‘page’ on which the tweet appears (you need to use the tweet’s own address – you can find this in its timestamp – and remove the S from the httpS bit of the address

I’ve written a short post on ‘forensic’ use of Twitter (where you’re collecting someone’s tweets for legal reasons) but note that I’m not a lawyer so bear that in mind.

Further reading
Capturing web pages (remember a tweet IS a web page as it has its own address!) – Nightingale Collaboration