Categories
Journal Tips

Turning off top Tweets on twitter.com

The first thing I noticed with Twitter.com’s redesign is that the algorithmic timeline (aka top Tweets) is set as the default.

A few days ago I wasted some time looking to change this setting in the More > Settings and privacy page. I couldn’t find it there. I then googled, but still couldn’t find the answer.

I googled again today and found the solution in this Mashable post.

The timeline preference setting is moved from  Settings > Account > Content to the centre-right of the home page.

Changing twitter timeline preference

The bright side is that at least now it is easier to change the preference if Twitter zealously overrides it, as it does from time to time, like on the mobile app.

Categories
Advice Apps

Twitter’s half-truth about its app settings

Bill Bennett, a local technology journalist I respect, tweeted a CNN Business article about Twitter’s overzealous algorithm.

That article quoted a Twitter spokesperson:

… We will continue to work to improve our efforts here, and people always have the option of turning off our curation if they just want to see content from the people they follow.

This quote is sketchy and only half-true.

The other half-truth, which this Twitter spokesperson did not say, is that although you can turn off curation, on the phone app Twitter turns it back on within a few days without your consent. The settings on my web app are untouched though, which is likely what this well-meaning spokesperson has quoted.

If you really want to improve your efforts here, Twitter, stop changing your users’ app settings and start respecting their preferences.

And definitely educate your spokesperson with your phone app’s hidden features as well, so they can share accurate information about your platform.

Categories
Apps

Twitter is changing my timeline preferences

Recently I wrote about how I reduced the noise on my Twitter timeline by changing the default timeline preference from top tweets to the latest tweets.

Since then I noticed that from time to time my timeline preference is falling back to top tweets without my intervention. But I wasn’t totally sure because I did not think Twitter may be overriding my preferences. Today I realized it is indeed the case!

As shown in the following screenshot of the iOS app on my phone, Twitter is overzealously overriding my timeline preference to what it wants me to see.

Twitter screenshot showing its overzealousness with changing my preferences.
Twitter is changing my preference 🙁

Every time Twitter does this to me, I have to tap the star icon at the top right and change the preference to latest tweets.

This is my first-hand experience of a social network’s aggressiveness towards its users. I still stand Twitter because I often find useful information on it via the cool people I follow. But when the time comes, I don’t think twice to leave the platform. Until then, I will put up with this nuisance.

Categories
Apps Tips

How to declutter your Twitter timeline

I recently changed my Twitter iPhone app from Tweetbot 3 to the default Twitter iOS app.

Twitter for iOS app is largely good. But I noticed that my Twitter timeline both in the browser and iPhone app got noisy than they should be for the fifty people I follow. This is making me spend (not waste) more time than I would like to spend on Twitter. The clutter also means the actual tweets from the people I follow, the tweets I would love to see, are buried in the noise. This made me feel like I am missing important tweets.

I only ever wanted to see the tweets from the people I very carefully and deliberately choose to follow, in the order they are tweeted. Nothing more.

On a deeper look, I noticed that Twitter is not just showing me the tweets from the people I follow, but also the tweets liked (marked ♥️) by the people I follow as well as the conversations the people I follow are having with other people I don’t follow.

This has been a great revelation for me! This is my first-hand experience of Twitter’s aggressiveness and setting the defaults that work better for Twitter but cleverly wrapped as what I likely care about most.

For many weeks I thought there is no way around it and felt like I have to live with it. But having had enough, this week I decided to check if there is a way to declutter my timeline. I poked around the settings on my Twitter account and found this gem (in the red box) at https://twitter.com/settings/account:

Turn off best / top Tweets in Twitter web app.

Clicking the blue Learn more link took me to What’s in your Home timeline page on which I found this:

You can choose between viewing the top Tweets first or the latest Tweets first in your timeline (Twitter for iOS and Android only). Top Tweets are ones you are likely to care about most, and we choose them based on accounts you interact with most, Tweets you engage with, and much more. You can find instructions on how to toggle between the two timeline views below.


So instead of showing me what I want to see (latest Tweets), Twitter is showing what it wants me to see (top Tweets)!

At the end of the same help page, I also found the instructions to turn off Top Tweets in the iOS and Android apps.

Turn off best / top Tweets in Twitter mobile apps.

So changing the Twitter’s default settings by turning off Show the best Tweets first in the browser and toggling to latest Tweets in the iOS app made my twitter timeline much cleaner and calmer in both the places I check my tweets.

Barring these little annoyances, Twitter is the only social network I use and find really helpful by being deliberate about who I choose to follow, and override some of its default settings I mentioned in this post.

Categories
Journal

Do you remember when you joined Twitter? I do! #MyTwitterAnniversary

Do you remember when you joined Twitter? I do! This month, ten years ago!

I am celebrating by blogging about it 😀

Categories
Tech Tips

Hide media in tweets

Twitter embeds are cool, just like everything else on WordPress.com. You just paste the link to a tweet and the editor auto-magically embeds the twitter card.

While this is great, WordPress.com does a bit more that I don’t like: it also includes the images in the tweet. I don’t like it because the image increases the size of the twitter card.

When I published my previous post, I wanted to just post the tweet without media.

What I wanted is this:

What I got by default is this:

I wanted a way to hide images in the tweets. But I wasn’t sure if that is possible. So I scouted the Twitter Embeds support guide and found hide_media=’true’ option which hides the media item from the linked site.This is exactly what I am after. Besides its description, this option also hides the media in the tweet like an embedded image.

Here is the shortcode that got me what I wanted:

[tweet https://twitter.com/WPDiscover/status/697842590951931904 hide_media='true']

This isn’t as slick as just pasting the link to the tweet, but with a bit of editing, I get a clean result.

Categories
Diet Fitness Habits Journal Learn Resolutions

There are no finish lines

I chanced upon a great quote today.

There are no finish lines.

It made prefect sense. This is something I keep in my mind with everything I do. My relationships, friendships, habits, and principles are all for my life. There are no finish lines.

In the other news, I tried to keep quiet in Twitter and Facebook but I soon realized that lurking is not my natural state. So I tweeted:

It feels good not to pretend as someone I am not.

My new year is warming up. I started, rather continuing, work on my goals. My exercising routine resumed this week after a two-week holiday break. I started drinking protein after my workouts. I had a great lower body workout this afternoon. My trainer kept it relatively easy so all of us finished all the reps ahead of time. However, at the end he challenged me to swing 32 kg kettle-bell non-stop for fifty times. I tried, but gave up after twenty swings. So he asked me to complete two more sets of twenty swings, breaks allowed. I was able to do all of them with a good form. So that’s sixty swings with a break after every twenty. Still pretty good.

2016 has kicked off.