After five long years of using Chrome as my main browser, I finally had to bite the bullet and switch over to Firefox due to some glaring issues (no, privacy was not one of the reasons for me). Along with that switch, I began to use Twitter again — something that I’ve tried a few times before but never quite stuck through. As it turns out, thanks to the Twitter add-ons on Firefox, the two go hand-in-hand nicely.
Most of my past experiences with Twitter were through Twitter desktop clients such as TweetDeck and DestroyTwitter, and those were great. They accomplished everything I needed to do so I never gave much thought to trying anything else, but if my browser is open 24/7 anyway, why not combine the two into one? It’s more convenient and reduces computer resource usage. Plus, some Twitter-related add-ons provide services other than reading and writing tweets, and those are really useful to have.
Note: All of these add-ons have been tested and confirmed to work on Firefox 22.0. For those of you using a different version of Firefox, these add-ons may work but beware of incompatibilities.
Twitbin is officially known as a “Twitter sidebar for Firefox”, but in my eyes it’s something more — it’s a whole Twitter client within Firefox. Upon installation, you get a Twitbin button up by the Firefox search toolbar, and clicking on it will open the Twitbin sidebar. This sidebar is extremely clean, fast, and well-designed so that you can read your Twitter feed and post tweets with ease.
Twitbin supports multiple accounts, which is great, but the downside is that it doesn’t support simultaneous multiple accounts. If you want to send out a tweet on Twitter Account A and then read what’s new on Twitter Account B, you’ll need to switch accounts. Twitbin is fast and stores your various accounts for quick one-click log in, but it definitely isn’t as convenient as a true multi-account Twitter client.
In the options, you can mute certain users so their tweets don’t show up in your feed — a perfect solution for when you don’t want to unfollow a user who tweets nonstop (we covered more Twitter filtering solutions here). You can also switch the sidebar from left to right, select between Pikchur and Twitter for image uploads, and choose how often to refresh your feed (anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes).
Long story short: if you only have one Twitter account and you want to stay on top of it from within Firefox, Twitbin is for you.
Yoono is similar to Twitbin in that it provides your Firefox browser with a sidebar that pops in and out — the one difference being that Yoono isn’t a Twitter-only plugin. This sidebar extension works with the more popular social networks out there: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, GTalk, AIM, YouTube, and more, which makes it a wonderful tool for super-active social networkers.
Yoono has true support for multiple accounts, meaning you can be logged into multiple accounts across multiple social networks at the same time. Switching between them requires no more than a mouse click. But to make things even easier, Yoono has something called a Dashboard which opens in a new Firefox tab. Within the Dashboard, you can create and manage multiple columns for quick access to various feeds, updates, messages, etc. To be clear, this Dashboard tab runs alongside the Yoono sidebar, NOT within it.
As far as customization, there are several ways to go. When you receive new updates, Yoono can show popup notifications in a corner of your choice as well as play sound effects. You can also change the font size and the color theme to any of seven different colors for better legibility. Yoono is so good, that it has become part of our Best of Firefox Addons page.
Long story short: if you want to keep on top of multiple social networking accounts (especially Twitter) from within Firefox, Yoono is the one you want.
Internet privacy and anonymity is a big concept these days, especially with the debacle surrounding Obama, the NSA, and PRISM. The whole debate and concern over privacy is so deep that it would take another article to cover it — but suffice it to say that you should protect yourself as best as you can, starting with your browser.
Did you know that whenever you visit a website that has a Twitter widget, you’re inadvertently sending some information about yourself to Twitter’s servers? Maybe you don’t have a Twitter account; maybe you aren’t sending over credit card numbers and bank statements; but you’re still sending data such as your browsing habits, your IP, etc. For privacy heads, this is too much.
There are plenty of security and privacy add-ons for Firefox that have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, but Twitter Disconnect was specifically created to keep your information out of Twitter’s hands. Maybe those other add-ons are too much for you or they interfere in some way, in which case you should use Twitter Disconnect.
Long story short: Twitter Disconnect blocks all traffic from third-party sites to the Twitter servers but still lets you access Twitter itself.
As a service, Twitter isn’t very complicated. You tweet, you re-tweet, and you read tweets — that about sums up the majority of the experience. However, if you love Twitter and you want to integrate it with your browser, or if you just want more control over Twitter, these Firefox add-ons will help you to do just that.
Do you use these add-ons? Or maybe you use other Twitter add-ons for Firefox? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Image Credit: Twitter and Firefox Logo from Gizmodo