Unlike Facebook, Twitter requires that you stay on your toes. When it comes to Twitter, I’m either able to keep up, or I’m not. If I can’t keep up, my timeline quickly runs away from me, and I have no idea what’s going on any more. Not staying updated on Twitter is not the end of the world, but if you already have an account, it does make sense to keep an eye on it every once in a while. And while third-party clients are very convenient, sometimes you need more than that in order to not lose track of your timeline.
A while ago, I checked out TweetDeck for Chrome as an in-browser solution for Twitter. TweetDeck for Chrome is exactly like the regular TweetDeck only you don’t have to leave your browser to use it. As great as it is, it’s still a full-fledged client, even when it’s sitting in a browser tab. In order to really keep up with Twitter, I was looking for something lighter, easier to use, and that will always be just one click away. And then I found Silver Bird.
What’s So Special About Silver Bird?
The thing that makes Silver Bird stand out is how integrated it is with everything you do with your browser. After installing it, it’s always there, peering at you from the toolbar, making sure you stay updated with everything’s that’s happening on Twitter.
The bird icon is always there, changing colors according to whether you have new updates, and the kind of updates these are: (new timeline updates, mentions, DMs, etc.). Clicking on the bird opens up the main Silver Bird window, which includes everything you could want out of a Twitter client.
The interface is very simple and self-explanatory, but includes a surprising amount of useful features you don’t want to miss. Here are some of Silver Bird’s best features.
Before diving into the interface itself, you should take a moment exploring Silver Bird’s options. Almost everything in this extension is customizable, from what kinds of notifications you get and the color of the bird icon, to the colors and fonts of the interface itself.
Take a minute to configure what kinds of notifications you want to get, and how these will affect the icon’s color. You can even choose to be notified when someone retweets you, and to see popup notification, no matter which application you’re using at the time.
Silver Bird’s interface includes five tabs: Unified, Home, Mentions, DMs and Favorites. If you’ use Twitter to any capacity, you already know what you can find in each. Two more tabs let you search your stream for any keyword, hastag or username, and view your lists, if you’re using those.
Right on top, you’ll find several useful buttons. The Suspend button will pause your Twitter activity, if you need to concentrate on something without getting notifications. The Trends button will show you what’s trending in your part of the world right now. You can change your locale in the options to receive the most relevant trends.
You can also use the detach button on the top right corner to view your Twitter feed in a separate browser window, although in my opinion this would be a little besides the point.
Tweet, Retweet, Repeat
Tweeting is arguably the most important part of your Twitter activity. And Silver Bird does not skimp in this department either. When viewing your feed, you can easily reply, retweet and add a tweet to your favorites.
Note that there are two separate buttons for retweeting, one is called simply “retweet”, which is a new-style retweet, and just below it a “share” button, which is actually the old-style retweet. A little bit confusing, but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough.
To compose a tweet, simply hit the reply button to any tweet or the “Compose tweet” bar at the top of the window. The compose window is simple, but includes every option you can dream of. With one click, you can add a shortened URL of the page you’re currently on, or paste a URL to be automatically shortened. You can also add images to your tweets with the “Choose File” button (doesn’t work on Mac OS X).
Despite the simplicity of the interface, or perhaps because of it, Silver Bird is one of the best browser extensions for Twitter I’ve seen. It’s super customizable, it’s really easy to use, and it puts Twitter right at your fingertips, helping you stay connected without losing too much productivity.
Whereas with different extensions and clients, you might find yourself losing track and drowning in Twitter for hours, Silver Bird actually helps you stay focused by not losing track of the page you’re on. It just keeps looking at you from behind your Twitter feed, reminding you that there are other things to get done. The only downside to Silver Bird is its lack of support for multiple users, so if there’s more than one user you need to be tracking, you’re going to have to look elsewhere.
Which is your favorite Twitter browser extension? Did you get a chance to try Silver Bird? Let us know in the comments.