From Presidents and business leaders to entertainers and entrepreneurs, people both famous and not-so-famous are making news on Twitter these days. It’s reached a point where everyone needs Twitter in their lives.
However, that doesn’t mean you need an account to keep up with that’s happening. Twitter’s open nature lets anyone check out the micro-blogging social network without requiring a registration.
Whether you want to see what’s trending or follow one user in particular, it’s all possible without using an account. Here’s how to Twitter without signing up.
Follow What’s Happening or Trending News
A few months ago, Twitter introduced a new homepage for those who aren’t users already. So now, if you go to Twitter.com, it will show you the latest trending tweets in your country from various categories such as news, entertainment, sports, politics, and so on. It’s a quick look at what’s the latest on the social network without diving deep in.
Each category here has several sub-categories to add further dimension. Twitter calls these “Streams”, where they have collated some of the more famous Twitter users to create a custom timeline.
For example, under politics, there are separate streams for public utilities and for political parties. So if you’re only interested in the action undertaken by politicians without the actual politics, public utilities will give you the updates you want. These vary by nation, so you’ll have to browse to find the right one for you.
The search bar will let you also search for a hashtag that is bound to be getting focus at the moment. For those who don’t know, hashtags bind multiple tweets about a certain topic. For example, searching for #Wimbledon during the Men’s Singles Final showed me everything that the world was thinking about while watching Andy Murray and Milos Raonic battle it out on court.
Apart from the official Twitter app, some third-party services do a fantastic job of finding the buzzing hashtags and collating tweets based on them. Often, you need to follow the news on Twitter, so these can be really handy.
- Trends24: A simple, hourly updated list of the top trending topics at any point, Trends24 always keeps all the topics from the past 24 hours for you to browse. You can filter this based on country, or check out the default worldwide view.
- The Hash Today: How is Twitter reacting to news today, or maybe even shaping it? The Hash Today is kind of like a digital newspaper based on Twitter, featuring a Wikipedia brief to tell you what the hashtag is all about, along with the important tweets about it recently. You can also grab iOS and Android apps for The Hash Today.
Follow Particular Users
Twitter lets you read anyone’s tweets without needing an account, unless someone has locked their account (and there are plenty of reasons to use a private Twitter account). You could either search for that user on Twitter itself, or search for them on Google.
For example, to find the Apple CEO’s account to track big tech moments on Twitter, just search “Tim Cook Twitter” on Google and you’ll see the account along with a preview of its latest tweets. Searching on Google is a better idea since not everyone gets to use their own name for their account, so a Google search is likely to offer better clues.
Pro Tip: Since tweets can be embedded, when you’re searching for a slightly famous personality, check an article claiming to quote them. In that article, you’ll see the embedded tweet or at least a screenshot of it, so you can follow the right person using that information.
Once you find the user’s Twitter handle, you can bookmark that page to look it up in the future. In case you use RSS feeds and readers to improve your life, there’s a trick to turn timelines into RSS feeds, even though it’s not officially supported by Twitter.
Queryfeed is one of the only sites that converts Twitter accounts into RSS feeds. Scroll down to “Alternative Twitter Search” and key in the account you want to follow, with the “@” symbol. Without the “@”, you’ll get an RSS feed for all tweets (including replies, retweets, and everything else) that includes the username, so it’s probably not what you want.
Click the “Search” button and copy the URL you see (ignore the long text wall you see, or things like “This XML file does not appear to have any style information”). Go to your favorite RSS reader and add that URL as a new feed to get all the recent tweets from that account, and all future updates.
Follow or Find Twitter Lists
You don’t need to always follow individual accounts on Twitter. Twitter Lists are collections of multiple accounts, tracking their every update. Often, this is what you’re looking for. Again, they’ll need to be public lists and not private.
For example, let’s say you’re a fan of Game of Thrones. You want to avoid Game of Thrones spoilers, but you want to follow what the actors of the show have to say on Twitter. So you could just check the Game of Thrones cast and crew List to see their tweets.
Unfortunately, you can’t turn Lists into RSS feeds, so you’ll need to bookmark the page to check it later.
Searching for or finding lists can be a little difficult. We have listed eight essential Twitter lists to follow, but if you’re looking for more, check Electoral’s Twitter List Search to find exactly what you want.
Search for Any Tweet or User
Twitter’s Advanced Search is one of those tips Twitter pros don’t even know about, and it surprisingly doesn’t need an account to use. With its many options, you’ll be able to locate the right tweet or user any time.
You can sort your results based on keywords or phrases (from exact to “OR”, like those Google Search parameters), add hashtags, filter by language, add which accounts sent it or received it, restrict by time or place, and even dictate the mood or sentiment of the tweet, like happy or sad.
It’s dead simple to use and once you get accustomed to it, you’ll always be able to find the exact tweet you are looking for.
Do You Have a Twitter Account?
We’re confident that with these tips, you’ll be able to get the most out of Twitter whether you have an account or not. In fact, if you are someone who rarely checks your account, you could even delete your account by applying these techniques.
That said, we’re curious. How many of you have made a Twitter account? Do you use it regularly? What makes you afraid of using Twitter? Do you prefer Facebook? Let’s talk in the comments.