As one of the grandfathers of the entire social media industry, Twitter has grown from a tiny niche website into a multi-million dollar corporation with over 330 million active monthly users within a span of just a few years. At the end of the decade, Twitter had become more than just a micro-blogging platform; it became one of the most influential pieces of technology in the modern world that has transformed the way we connect to one another and how we, as a society, interact in the digital space, not to mention the fact that it became the birthplace of the dankest memes and trends.
Yes, Twitter has something for all generations, whether it’s memes, news, celebrity gossip, science fact, what-have-you. In fact, in 2020, there is now an entire generation of people who were born and raised in a time where Twitter had always existed. These ‘Twitter Natives’ know all the ins-and-outs of the website, have mastered the mobile app, and are pretty much experts at everything Twitter. We consulted more than a hundred of these natives to find some ‘hidden’ Twitter tricks for you to elevate your tweeting experience.
How to Download a Profile Picture from Twitter
Downloading a profile picture on Twitter should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many are still on Google trying to figure this out. But it’s understandable: downloading a profile picture from Twitter is a relatively new feature (you weren’t able to do that when the site first went live), so a lot of us older millennials might have missed the memo. Luckily, downloading a profile picture off of Twitter is very easy to do:
First, go to the person’s Twitter profile. Next, tap on their profile picture to make it go full screen. Then, tap the three-dot icon on the top-right corner of the screen (it should look something like ⋮ this). A drop-down menu will pop up. From this menu, select Save. The image will then save to your device.
That’s it, those are the instructions. You can also use this process to download Twitter gif’s and other types of images from the platform.
Keyboard Shortcuts for Twitter DO Exist
A lot of young’uns today often forget that Twitter came out before smartphones. That’s right, kids, in the early days of Twitter, you could only access it via your desktop or laptop computer. Of course, desktop Twitter isn’t exactly dead (although 85% of Twitter users access the mobile app through their phone), it’s not as heavily used as in ye olden days.
Which is a shame, because Twitter for desktop integrates a whole lot of keyboard shortcuts that make tweeting even faster. Just log on to Twitter and type shift+/ and a list of shortcuts will pop out. Or, you can just click your Twitter Profile icon and select ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’. Either way works.
See the Freshest Tweets First on Your Feed
In February of 2016, Twitter did a Facebook and switched from a chronologically-arranged timeline into an algorithm-based arrangement of Tweets. This wasn’t the most popular move by the micro-blogging platform, which is why they gave people the option to opt-out of the algorithm in 2018. Unfortunately, not a lot of users were informed of this, so many are still stuck complaining about a problem that has a fix (‘typical millennial!’ the boomer said).
The switch to an algorithm-based timeline was, at the time, the trend among other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Their reasoning for the switch was that they wanted users to see the ‘best’ content and so used an algorithm to create a curated list of posts. Of course, everyone saw it as a thinly-veiled attempt to market certain accounts over others. Twitter tried various workarounds, like applying filters that only showed followed accounts to third-party websites that did this for them. Twitter did eventually cave to popular requests to bring back un-curated timelines, but only 2 years later.
Not wanting to lose this money-making scheme, Twitter instead made the decision to make curated timelines an option rather than a default. Just go to your settings and turn off the “Show The Best Tweets First” button.
Do Not Disturb: Turn off Mobile Notifications
If you’re a popular influencer/meme lord, you’ve probably found yourself inundated with notifications from all the likes, RT’s, and comments you’re getting on your posts. Luckily, there’s a way to silence these notifications so you can get a good night’s sleep without all of your follower’s love bothering you.
First, you’ll need to add a phone number. Not only does this come in handy in case you forget your password (something that happens surprisingly often to a lot of people), it also helps you put an extra layer of protection for your account. Just go to Settings and Privacy, then go to Mobile.
Input your phone number and you’ll receive an SMS verification code. Type it in, and hit “Activate Phone”. Congrats, you’ve now added your number to Twitter. To turn off notifications, just go back to the Settings page, and under the Mobile tab, you’ll see Sleep Settings. From here, you can switch off updates and notifications during specified times.
Utilize Twitter’s Advanced Search Using ‘Operators’
‘Operators’ are a fancy coding term for commands you use on search engines to narrow down results based on keywords you input. It’s basically like a manual filter for search engines. Twitter’s Advanced Search allows people to use operators to find more exact results that match their specific wants.
For example: let’s say you’re looking for that one video with a dog that has pretty eyes. You can’t find the video on your timeline anymore, and basic search-ing “dog video eyes” is yielding really terrible results. To get around this, you can type in keywords you remember from the original tweet (like dog video pretty eyes) in quotation marks (“dog video pretty eyes”) so that Twitter searches for tweets with that exact phrase. Then you can add an operator like “near:” to find tweets that were sent from a specific location. Here’s a complete list of Twitter operators that you can use.
Of course, if all that seems like needless complexity, you can just use Twitter’s Advanced Search Engine filters to refine your results. From there, you can choose filters like location, date, user, hashtags, and other relevant factors. But using specific operators not only gives you a little more control, but it also makes you look #cool #hacker #programmer, so that’s a bonus.
Schedule Your Tweets
Scheduled posts are a mainstay on Facebook and Instagram, especially for influencers, brands, business pages, and basically anyone that needs to stay active on their social media platform. Not many people, however, are aware that you can do the same on Twitter: scheduled tweets are now possible using third-party apps like TweetDeck that help you organize exact times and dates for when your tweet will be posted.
And don’t worry, TweetDeck was acquired a few years ago by Twitter, so while it’s not native to the Twitter site/app, it’s a trusted site that won’t sell your personal info to terrorists or whatever. One downside: TweetDeck isn’t available for the mobile app, so you’ll have to access this from the desktop site.