Social networks are great for sharing links. However, Twitter’s fast-paced nature means that those links are difficult to track — whether shared by others or even those you post yourself. Don’t worry, there’s always technology to make things easier.
There are several good reasons to use Twitter, but personally, I find it best to read interesting links. I’d argue that the people you follow on Twitter are those with similar views or interests as you have. Given how often people share links on the micro-blogging network, eventually, that means Twitter turns into a fantastic social-powered list of must-read items. So how do you track and save them them?
See All Links From Your Twitter Timeline
Vellum is a nifty web app made by The New York Times’ research department, NYT Labs. Grant it access to your Twitter account and Vellum will go through your recent timeline and take out all the tweets with links in it. In fact, it actually isolates the links itself, showing you the headline, the website it’s from, and a blurb of the article or video’s introduction.
Links are also lined up by how often they are being discussed and shared. This New York Times web app helps you stay in the thick of what your social circle is talking about.
Each of the items in the reading list has a tiny icon at the corner, showing the Twitter display picture (DP) of the user who tweeted it. In case multiple people have shared the same link, you’ll see all of their DPs, which makes it easier for you to know that is something deserving your attention.
My favorite part of Vellum is that it also works with Twitter lists, which is a great way to unclutter your timeline. So for example, you could see what links the authors at MakeUseOf have been sharing lately. If there are multiple tweets about the same link, you know what you should be reading!
The only thing missing from Vellum is an ability to directly add those must-read stories to Pocket, the ultimate bookmarking service, or any other read-it-later service. The Pocket extension is the only shortcut — right-click the links and add them directly to Pocket.
See All Links Shared By You
Much like anyone else on Twitter, you share some great links too. How do you track those and make them into a reading list? Turn to that great web automator, IFTTT.
With IFTTT, you can create a new recipe that automatically sends all the links you share on Twitter to your favorite read-it-later app. It’s pretty simple to set up.
- Connect IFTTT with your Twitter and read-it-later app, like Pocket.
- Click “Create a New Recipe” in IFTTT.
- In “Choose Trigger Channel”, select Twitter.
- In “Choose a Trigger”, select “New link by you”.
- In the next step, click “Create Trigger” to proceed.
- Click “that” and in “Choose Action Channel”, select Pocket.
- In “Choose an Action”, select “Save for Later”.
- In “Save for Later”, let the URL field stay as it is and change tags to “MyTwitter”.
That’s it. Every time you share a link on Twitter, it’ll be automatically saved in Pocket with the tag “MyTwitter” so it’s easy to locate. You can also turn those links into an RSS feed, which is just one of the many ways to supercharge your Pocket with IFTTT.
How Do You Read Your Links?
Now that you have a way to bring together all your links from Twitter, it’s time to get reading. But before that…
How do you prefer to read? Do you read links on Twitter as you see them, or do you save them for later? And if so, what’s your favourite read-it-later service?