Mobile Technology

Tips and tricks to get more from Twitter

Tips and tricks to get more f...
We give you some tips and tricks to help you navigate the Twitterverse
We give you some tips and tricks to help you navigate the Twitterverse
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We give you some tips and tricks to help you navigate the Twitterverse
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We give you some tips and tricks to help you navigate the Twitterverse
Don't like autoplaying videos? Turn them off
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Don't like autoplaying videos? Turn them off
You can tag tweets with locations and see what's happening around you
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You can tag tweets with locations and see what's happening around you
Lists are a useful way of cutting through the noise
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Lists are a useful way of cutting through the noise
Report spam and abuse when you see it
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Report spam and abuse when you see it
Two-step verification helps protect your account
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Two-step verification helps protect your account
Advanced search is only a click away
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Advanced search is only a click away
You can opt to open your DM box to anyone
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You can opt to open your DM box to anyone
Twitter suggests people for you to follow
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Twitter suggests people for you to follow
Cut down on notifications from the mobile apps
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Cut down on notifications from the mobile apps
There are more profile customization options than you think
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There are more profile customization options than you think
TweetDeck is a great tool for power users
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TweetDeck is a great tool for power users
Use Buffer to spread your tweets out
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Use Buffer to spread your tweets out

It may languish in the shadow of the Facebook behemoth, but with Twitter claiming over 300 million active users and 500 million tweets being sent a day, it's no social media slouch. Indeed, there are many things that Twitter does better than anything else: such as breaking news alerts, keeping in touch with celebs, and so on. To help you boost your own Twitter skills we've collected the best tips and tricks to help you navigate the Twitterverse.

Turn off auto-play

Don't like autoplaying videos? Turn them off
Don't like autoplaying videos? Turn them off

By default, Twitter's website and iOS app start playing (muted) videos as soon as they appear in your feed, but you can disable this feature if you don't like it. On the web, head to the Settings page and the option is under the Content heading on the Account tab. Inside the iOS app, again go to Settings and you can find the option under Video autoplay.

Share your location... with care

You can tag tweets with locations and see what's happening around you
You can tag tweets with locations and see what's happening around you

If you use Twitter for Android or iOS you can let other people know where you're tweeting from. When composing a tweet, tap the map pin to share your location – you can choose how vague you want to be or broadcast your exact coordinates on a map, though remember anyone can see this. Note that on Android you need activate the feature in the settings first.

Use Lists to filter the Twitter stream

Lists are a useful way of cutting through the noise
Lists are a useful way of cutting through the noise

Once you start following hundreds of different people, Twitter Lists can really come in handy. For example, you can have one for all the celebrities you're following, one for all the news websites and one for all your real friends. On the Twitter website, click on the Lists heading to view your existing lists or start adding users you follow to a new one.

Report spam and abuse

Report spam and abuse when you see it
Report spam and abuse when you see it

While Twitter does have some spam-detecting algorithms built in, you can help it out by reporting any spammy or abusive messages you receive. It's possible to report individual tweets (via the More menu, three horizontal dots) or specific accounts (via the cog icon on the relevant profile).

Set up two-step verification

Two-step verification helps protect your account
Two-step verification helps protect your account

Two-step verification means someone needs more than just your password to get into your account – usually a unique code sent to a confirmed mobile phone number. Set this up on Twitter via the Security and privacy tab in Settings and your account is much better protected from unwanted visitors. In fact, it's worth reviewing all the options on that page.

Run advanced searches

Advanced search is only a click away
Advanced search is only a click away

The standard search box up in the top-right corner of the Twitter interface is nice and convenient, but you can do much more with the Advanced Search page. You can limit your search with a date range, look for tweets near a certain location (like a music festival) and even find tweets with a positive or a negative tone to them.

Accept DMs from anyone

You can opt to open your DM box to anyone
You can opt to open your DM box to anyone

Twitter recently introduced a feature that lets you accept 140-character Direct Messages from anyone, and you can enable it from the Security and privacy tab in Settings. The advantage is anyone can reach out to you, whether or not you follow them. But if you find yourself getting too popular, you can always disable the option again.

Find interesting people to follow

Twitter suggests people for you to follow
Twitter suggests people for you to follow

Getting the best from Twitter is all about cutting through the noise effectively. To find people you might be interested in, you can try searching for #hashtags based around your interests, checking out the followers of other accounts you like, and using the Who to follow box on the Twitter timeline (click Refresh to see more suggestions).

Manage notifications on mobile

Cut down on notifications from the mobile apps
Cut down on notifications from the mobile apps

Twitter's real-time, non-stop style can lead to your phone pinging more times than you might like, but you don't have to accept alerts for every retweet and mention. Head to the account settings page in the Android and iOS apps to make changes to the types of events that trigger notifications. For example, direct messages, favourites, new followers, etc.

Personalize your profile

There are more profile customization options than you think
There are more profile customization options than you think

Treat yourself to a profile overhaul (via the Design tab of Settings) and you'll find visitors much more likely to follow you. You can change background and profile images as well as colors, and don't neglect the bio information via the Edit profile button on your Twitter page (tell Twitter your birthday for a special greeting on the day).

Use TweetDeck for more powerful features

TweetDeck is a great tool for power users
TweetDeck is a great tool for power users

TweetDeck is the Twitter client that was so good, Twitter decided to acquire it. It's the tool of choice for power users, letting you set up customized, auto-scrolling columns based around your timeline, your notifications, searches, trends and more. You can access some extra advanced searching and filtering tools in TweetDeck too.

Use Buffer to schedule your tweets

Use Buffer to spread your tweets out
Use Buffer to spread your tweets out

There are many great Twitter plug-ins and add-ons, but we'll recommend just one: Buffer. It lets you schedule tweets to go out at specific times of the day, which is useful if you don't want to bombard your followers with a blitz of 10 interesting links in the space of 10 minutes. It has a lot of other helpful features too, and the basic version is free.

These are just a few tips to make you a more efficient tweeter or follower. If you have a few tricks of your own, please let us in on them in the comments.

1 comment
Bob Flint
Why would one want to follow the actions of someone else, if merely to entertain or relive boredom? Even the term tweet is akin to mindless little birds simply chirping because they can, but ask yourself , for what purpose? So they can be heard? Social behavior comes down to how many digital friends you have, or likes , or followers? Any of those stepping in to help you when you need help?