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twitter toolsYou know the story. You sign up to Twitter, add a few friends, meet a few like-minded folk, add a few celebrities and all of a sudden you’ve got more tweets than you can handle. Information overload means that you’re no longer seeing the most interesting Tweets. And where’s the fun in that?

To get around this problem, a few companies have decided to offer magazine or newspaper style views of your favourite people or topics on Twitter. They simplify the most recent Tweets into interesting articles from links, pictures and popular Tweets.


Some allow you to follow hashtags, while others simply let you see Tweets from your Twitter friends. Some services offer a small taste of the article, while others expand to show the full article. In short, these Twitter tools offer a great way to get an overview of the most important things relevant to you.

Now, these services were never meant to replace traditional methods of following Twitter. If you have lots of Twitter friends you’ll probably still want to make Twitter lists, use your favourite Twitter client and maybe get ambient updates (using FireStatus or Echofon) throughout the day. The newspaper-like services are probably only worth visiting once per day and are most helpful when you’ve been away from Twitter for a while. Personally, I make use of a large variety of Twitter tools depending on my needs at the time.

Paper.li

Paper.li is the new hot trend in Twitter magazines ever since Stephen Fry decided to give it a go. It’s designed to look like a newspaper: the white background highlights the general topics, headlines, a small snippet of an article and a thumbnail image.

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It’s easy to set up a newspaper of your whole Twitter stream, an individual list or a hashtag. You’re limited to five newspapers, so if you think a hashtag has already been made into a paper, then simply search for it. No matter who created the paper originally, anyone can be alerted to new editions (via email) or can promote the paper via Twitter. Paper.li papers update once per day.

twitter track tools

Twitter Times

TwitterTim.es is a newspaper style overview of just the best Tweets from your friends. The hottest news rises to the top and the news follows in order of priority down the page. Large pictures for articles are given when available, making the format visually interesting.

All articles begin in a shortened form, but can be expanded without leaving Twitter Times, making the overall reading process smooth and fast. If you think the article is important enough to share, it can also be quickly re-tweeted from within Twitter Times. The newspaper is updated regularly throughout the day, making the news a little more timely than a daily paper.

twitter track tools

Older news in Twitter Times features in smaller blocks in the side of the screen, so that you’re less likely to miss anything important.

twitter track tools

Flipboard

Flipboard is actually a free iPad application, but it works in a similar way to the previous two web applications. Links from Tweets are expanded into articles and pictures are displayed in magazine style. The content is gathered from the user’s Twitter friends, so you know the information is relevant to you.

Flipboard recently aquired Ellerdale, a real-time semantic data analysis firm, in order to categorise Tweets, determine trending topics and ultimately offer Flipboard users the very best content from their friends.

twitter tools

Take a look at the video to see just how stylish and intuitive the format of this really is.

Other Tools

If you’re in need of some other Twitter tools to help streamline your Twitter experience, there’s many others available. See these three ways to avoid Twitter information overload 3 Little Known Ways To Use Twitter Without Information Overload 3 Little Known Ways To Use Twitter Without Information Overload Read More for more great ideas.

If you know of any other great Twitter magazine readers, let us know in the comments.

  1. TechGyo
    October 13, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    paper.li is really amazing, thanks for sharing this info :)

  2. TechGyo
    October 13, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    paper.li is really amazing, thanks for sharing this info :)

    • Angela Alcorn
      October 13, 2010 at 3:46 pm

      Glad you like it!

      • TechGyo
        October 13, 2010 at 3:55 pm

        :)

  3. Anonymous
    October 13, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    If you use an iPad and use Twitter and/or Facebook, there is no way you cannot use Flipbook. Forget that it's free, it makes reading Twitter, Facebook and others an awesome experience. Many things over the years have been called a "killer app." This one actually lives up to that in every sense of the word. It takes you personal content that you already have decided interests you and makes it into a multimedia magazine-like experience. It makes reading my Twitter lists and Facebook actually fun.

    • Angela Alcorn
      October 13, 2010 at 3:48 pm

      Flipboard is a brilliant app. I hope they release smartphone versions soon!

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