Internet Social Media

2 Ways to Monitor Tweets Within Your Twitter Network

Ann Smarty 14-05-2011

Twitter is a well-known and well-used source of instant hot news and trending topics. It’s huge and is able to spread news in real time. We have listed lots of tools to monitor hottest Twitter topics, find important content 9 Websites to Show You the Hottest Stuff on Twitter Now Read More and track popular news.


However being huge and powered by real people, Twitter is also hugely cluttered. It is almost impossible to find one’s way around thousands of tweets and retweets. The only way to give this stream of updates a meaning is to only listen to people that matter to you: people you follow for a reason. Here are a collection of tools that will help you track down the news within your Twitter network.

1. Updates Retweeted By Your Friends

“Old-style” retweets (also referred to as “manual” as opposed to Twitter-RT functionality) have long been an effective source of trending topics. If a story gets retweeted and cited, it must be a hot story. But are you really that interested in any hot topic discussed online?

If you’ve been smart enough to create a relevant circle of friends on Twitter, you are likely to share similar interests with people you follow. So here are two ways to find out what people you care about retweet daily:

Tweeted Times

Tweeted Times is a social media tool to create an easy-to-scan newspaper of your Twitter timeline. You can create a digest based on your own Twitter stream, any Twitter list and / or Twitter search results.

The tool ranks the updates based on how many of your friends and friends of your friends have retweeted the news.


monitor tweeters

Updated: hourly.

Tracking tools: You can read the newspaper online or use your preferred RSS reader to track your newspaper feed. You can also set up the tool to automatically share top stories and promote your newspaper from your Twitter account.


FeedEra is another tool that creates a digest of your friends’ retweets. The tool ranks the stories using its “FeedScore” which is said to aggregate data from Twitter, Topsy, and other powerful sources. All the updates are broken into stories, photos, videos and music.


monitor your tweets

Updated: daily (email digest) and live (online digest).

Tracking tools: Get a digest in your inbox every morning with the best of your feed.

In your settings you can also maintain a blacklist of domains and annoying Twitter friends you don’t want to be included in the digest:


monitor your tweets

Besides subscribing to your friends’ popular stories, you can also subscribe to any Twitter list update (the list should not necessarily be created by you).

2. Updates “Favorited” By Your Friends

Whereas retweeting spreads the word further, “favoriting” saves it for further reference (sort of a sharing versus bookmarking functionality). Most of your friends are likely to star Twitter updates to save most useful posts, so you may consider looking into what they like.

I wasn’t able to find any good tool that would create a digest of what all your friends favorite. Instead, there are a few ways to create an aggregated RSS feed of your friends’ favorite Twitter updates:



Favebytes is a quick, registration-free web-based application that creates an OPML file from your friends’ favorites. Outline Processor Markup Language (OPML) is the traditional format for RSS aggregators to import and export the subscription list. This means you can use the OPML file created by Favebytes to import your friends’ favorite feeds to almost any feed reader.

Here’s the sample of my OPML file imported by Google Reader:

monitor your tweets

Updated: live (powered by Twitter built-in Twitter favorites feeds).

Tracking tools: Most RSS readers.

2. Yahoo! Pipes

There are a few promising pipes that aggregate your Twitter friends’ favorites – here are two of them. If you are ready to cope with frequent Yahoo! Pipes slowness, that can be a good solution.

monitor tweeters

Updated: live (powered by Twitter built-in Twitter favorites feeds).

Tracking tools: Online interface or any RSS reader. is another online tool based on Yahoo! Pipes but I found it even slower. There’s also Favorious that lets you have various sorts of fun with Twitter favorites including your viewing your friends’ favorite timeline – but I wasn’t able to get it working properly.

From what I have seen, the above two tools only grab updates from ~100 people you most recently followed, so if you follow more users, these cannot be complete solutions.

Any other good tips on how to track only meaningful Twitter updates that really matter to you? Please let us know in the comments!

cc licensed flickr photo shared by jez`

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