Here’s an easy way to make Twitter favorites more useful

Twitter has this nice feature, a way to mark certain tweets as favourites, but besides being an easy way to tell yourself that this tweet was really funny, it can be used in many helpful ways.

If you’re like me, you tend to use the feature to also bookmark tweets with interesting tips or links in them. In my case, those links contain content that doesn’t belong in Instapaper, because the content is not text-based or something that I don’t just want to “read later”.

Unfortunately, the way favourites currently work makes it easy to forget the things you have starred, because there is no good way to remind yourself of them (1).

There is a nice solution, though:

You can subscribe to an RSS feed of your own favourites, having it show up in a RSS reader of your choice, enabling you to treat your Twitter favorites as something of a to-do-list. The only thing you have to do is add this feed URL to said RSS reader, adding your own Twitter username instead of the placeholder:

Note: that there’s no u in favorites. Adding a u breaks this whole tip.

If you don’t use a dedicated RSS application, or simply don’t want these things to show up in your favorite reader (mine is Reeder, by the way), you have a great number of alternatives.

To name only a few:

  • Every major browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox) has a way to handle and subscribe to RSS feeds inside the app. The feed will show up as a bookmark with badge number, indicating how many unread items there are.
  • The Mail application built into OS X can fetch RSS feeds, making them show up similar to notes or tasks in the app (2).
  • Thunderbird and Outlook offer ways of subscribing to RSS feeds, too.

Another thing I want to mention is something the service Pinboard offers: Tweet archiving. If you don’t trust Twitter to save all of your tweets forever (3), Pinboard will archive them for you. The reason I’m mentioning this is because it will also save tweets you starred, giving you easy access to a list of all the things you found worthwhile in your Twitter stream.

Do you have other tips on how to make Twitter favourites more useful? Share them with us in the comments.

  1. Unless you’re very organised and immediately add a to-do list item for the tweet. ?
  2. On a fresh installation of OS X, Safari is set as the default RSS reader, offering an option in the sidebar of an opened RSS page, to add the selected feed to Mail. ?
  3. If you actually want that. ?
Besides his current full-time job as a student of Sinology and Marketing at the University of Trier, Germany, Alex likes to read about technology and the businesses behind it. He also has a personal blog.