Twitter may not be having the best of years so far, but it still runs circles around its rivals in so many ways. One of the reasons Twitter is worth sticking with (or making a start with) are the wealth of plug-ins, add-ons and third-party apps built on top of the platform. Here are our favourite tools for boosting Twitter’s usefulness — they’re all quick to set up and free to try.
Auto Refresh for Twitter: See new tweets appear on screen magically without resorting to TweetDeck with this Chrome extension (it also works with hashtags and searches as well). If you’re more of a Firefox type, then Auto-Refresh Twitter will do the same job.
Blind Twitter:Chrome extension
Buffer: Several tools let you schedule tweets in advance but few manage to blend ease-of-use with optional advanced features quite as well as Buffer. It includes integrated analytics tools as well as sharing options and it can work with your Facebook account too.
Direct Messenger:Direct Messenger
Emojitracker: Get a view into real-time emoji use on Twitter with Emojitracker — find out just how popular the “crying with laughte”‘ icon is (very) and some of the weird and wonderful symbols that pick up traction on the platform (from fish to tractors).
Filta:Filtapreviously on Field Guide
IFTTT: Connect Twitter up to Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress, and plenty of other popular web destinations with IFTTT (If This Then That), enabling you to trigger tweets automatically, pipe them elsewhere, and much more (previously on Field Guide).
Parrot Read: Another tool for tapping into the Twitter hive mind, this time focused exclusively on book recommendations. Parrot Read will suggest some reading material based on who you’re following (and what they’re reading) and it works rather well.
Spoiler Shield:Spoiler Shield
Twitter Stars: You may remember the brouhaha over Twitter switching from stars to hearts for its favourites. Well, with Twitter Stars for Chrome, you can bring them back. If you want to use a different emoji altogether, then all you need are a few extra lines of code.