Twitter turns 12 this month.
It was around this time in 2006 that Jack Dorsey sent the most famous tweet of all:
just setting up my twttr
— jack (@jack) March 21, 2006
By now, you probably think you know all there is to know about acing your Twitter feed.
And you probably do. But for the rest of us, to mark the occasion, Twitter has offered 12 tips and tricks that may have slipped under the radar.
Here’s how to make the most of your favourite not-as-micro-as-it-used-to-be blog:
1. How to make your own Moments
They say the best things in life are not actually things, but moments. Thankfully with Twitter you are now in full control of your destiny and able to create impactful moments at will. To start your own Moment, open the Moments tab and click ‘Create new Moment’, pretty simple really! The beauty of Moments is that it allows users to see your Tweets even if they aren’t following you.
2. How to segment your feed with lists
It is a truth universally acknowledged that everyone loves making lists. As such Twitter has created the Twitter Lists function allowing you to compile accounts into groups, curating the Tweets you see from a theme or demographic of your choosing. This gives you a more streamlined experience when browsing certain topics or industries. Just click on your profile icon to show the drop down menu, then click on Lists and ‘Create new list’ to get the ball rolling.
3. How to avoid TV spoilers
We all know news breaks first on Twitter but unfortunately this also trickles across to TV and movie spoilers, some of the more frustrating content to come across as you scroll your feed. To enable this feature just tap on your avatar, then go into Settings and Privacy, then Privacy and Safety. Scroll down to the Safety section and tap on ‘Muted’. Here you can select specific words, phrases or hashtags you want muted for a specific period of time, 24 hours, a week, whatever suits your needs.
4. How to find all the Twitter keyboard shortcuts
Nothing makes you look more like a pro than knowing keyboard shortcuts to particular platforms. Twitter keyboard shortcuts are a simple way to save some time. While on any Twitter profile, press shift + ? to bring up the list of keyboard shortcuts.
5. How to activate Sleep Settings
The Twitter news cycle keeps rolling 24/7, which is part of the charm of the platform. But while you’re asleep is not the best time for you to be absorbing the latest news from around the world. Instead of setting your phone to “Do Not Disturb” and risk missing an emergency call, you can set sleep timers that turn off Twitter notifications for a set time. Click your profile icon and select ‘Settings and privacy’ from the drop-down menu then hit the Mobile tab. If you’ve added your mobile number you should be given the option to set the sleep time.
6. How to use Night Mode in the evening
In addition to the above, try enabling Twitter’s Night Mode on mobile in the evening. This will be easier on your eyes, especially if you’re spending most nights browsing through your Twitter feed. Just hit your profile icon and scroll down to the bottom where you’ll see ‘Night mode’.
7. Disable read receipts
Not a fan of read receipts and prefer taking your own time getting back to people’s direct messages? Well no worries, all you need to do to stop read receipts is go to ‘Settings and Privacy’, click on ‘Privacy and Safety’ and disable read receipts.
8. How to subscribe to tweets
Have you got a reputation to uphold among your friendship group as the person always first on the scene? You can set up alerts that let you know whenever a certain account tweets, but it’s a two-stage process. First, on the app, go to Settings, Notifications, Push Notifications, Tweets and turn the toggle button on. Then open the profile page of the account you want to receive notifications from, tap the Bell icon next to the Following button and choose between All Tweets, Only Live Video and Off.
9. How to add birthday balloons
Add your birthday to your profile and then whoever goes to your profile on your special day will see lots and lots of celebratory animated balloons.
10. How to access Twitter Analytics
Everyone on Twitter, not just businesses, can easily access analytical data around their accounts. Want to gain insights to up your follower numbers or even just see which of your Tweets performed best? Hit your profile button then scroll down to ‘Analytics’ to dig a little deeper into how your account is operating.
11. How to add Picture Descriptions
Try using picture descriptions to ensure that people with visual impairments are able to digest your content easily. Click on your profile icon and select ‘Settings and privacy’, then head to ‘Accessibility’ and enable image descriptions. When you’re composing Tweets with images, just click the thumbnail of the image to add a description to your Tweet.
12. How to find accounts using mobile/computer address book
New to Twitter and want to follow your crew but don’t know all their zany Twitter handles? Simply use your existing computer or mobile address book to find the accounts you want to follow. Click ‘Who to Follow’ at the top and then click the ‘Find Friends’ tab then select the account from which you want to import the contacts. You’ll need to allow access but then you’re all good to go.