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Twitter can be overwhelming if you don’t use it regularly. Here are a few tools to discover the best and funniest tweets, and ensure you don’t miss out on some of its best moments.
How to Get a Twitter Email Digest
Twitter users can choose to not visit the app or site; instead get the best tweets delivered to their inbox. Here’s how to set up a Twitter email digest:
- Log in to Twitter and go to Email Notification Settings
- Check the box for Activity about your network > Email you with > Top Tweets and Stories
- In the drop-down box, select how often you want the email: daily, weekly, or periodically.
This only gives you tweets and stories sent by, retweeted by, or liked by the accounts you already follow. It’s not necessarily the most trending topics and tweets of the week. There is no way to customize this email digest either, but there’s a third-party app for that.
1. Ketchup (Email): Create a Custom Email Digest
Twitter is like a stream of consciousness for some users, putting out their every thought. Meanwhile, others will only tweet when they have something substantial to say. To ensure you don’t miss good tweets, Ketchup lets you create custom email digests for Twitter.
Whether you already use Twitter or not, and whether you are following a user or not, you can set up a custom feed for any account. You can schedule how often you want the email digest, from every 15 minutes to every 28 days. Set the time it will land in your inbox, and the kind of content you want: you can arrange the tweets chronologically or in reverse order, exclude retweets, and exclude quoted tweets.
Ketchup is the advanced, customizable Twitter email digest that the social network itself doesn’t want to give you control over. You can also install a Chrome extension to quickly add any account you’re viewing to Ketchup.
Download: Ketchup for Chrome (Free)
2. Thread Reader (Web) and Threader (Web): Make and Discover Twitter Threads
Twitter now lets users create threads, which is a sequence of tweets related to each other. But reading these in Twitter isn’t the best experience. These two apps offer a much better way to read tweetstorms and threads.
- To use Thread Reader, you need to follow the @threadreaderapp account, and then reply to any tweet with the word unroll.
- To use Threader, you need to follow the @threader_app account, and then reply to any tweet with the word compile.
Both apps then turn all those tweets into a single page like it was an article, complete with photos, GIFs, and videos. It’s a much more comfortable way to view the tweets, and you can even bookmark it as a PDF to read offline later.
On the website, both apps show recent threads made by users. You can glance at the first tweet, and see how many tweets there are in the thread. Alternately, you can check the Twitter accounts to see recommended threads from the app-makers, or add those to Ketchup to get a weekly email digest of the best threads.
Another nice hack is to search Twitter for “@threadreaderapp unroll” or “@threader_app compile” (without the quotes) to see the threads people are compiling with the apps.
3. Twubbler (Web): See What Other Users’ Timeline Looks Like
Are you curious what Elon Musk, Donald Trump, or even a friend’s timeline looks like? Twubbler will show you by creating a special list of all the accounts that person is following, so you see what they see.
You have to sign in to Twubbler to use the app. Then type a user’s account, and click Create List. Twubbler will ask if you want to make the list private, i.e. lock it so only you can see it. You can also choose to exclude common accounts that you and the user both follow.
Once the list is created, open it in Twitter. You’ll see a timeline of what that person sees. It’s a cool way to get a new perspective and try to see things from someone else’s point of view.
4. Really Good Questions (Email): Best Questions from Curious Minds
Really Good Questions (RGQ) is a weekly newsletter, curated by indie no-code maker Sharath Kuruganty. In the newsletter, you will find a collection of interesting tweets that drive curiosity and set your mind’s wheels turning.
Influencers on Twitter often ask questions to their followers, hoping to create a knowledge base of people-contributed data. This can range from something as simple as asking what was the best investment you made in the last 10 years, to stories of human spirit like asking what is the kindest thing a stranger has done for you.
Each tweet in the curated list also shows how many replies it got. You’ll need to click a tweet to unroll its replies in Twitter, you can’t browse that in the newsletter.
To get a sample of what RGQ is all about, visit the homepage and scroll down the list of example tweets. There is enough in that list already to make you think and learn. If you like what you see, subscribe to the newsletter for a weekly dose of brain food.
5. Funny Tweeter (Web): The Lighter Side of Twitter
Twitter is full of news, activism, and conversations, but let’s not kid ourselves, most people there are looking for a laugh and to crack a few jokes seeking the validation of retweets. Funny Tweeter curates the best of these in one place.
The good news is that Funny Tweeter is a website unto itself, so you don’t need a Twitter account to read these. The tweets are not embedded, but you can sign in to like or retweet them. Its post after post of jokes and humorous musings.
Most other such aggregators and curators end up showcasing the same few users over and over. Funny Tweeter is the exception to this. While a few Twitter comedians and comics naturally show up repeatedly, the selection has a number of regular users whose funny tweets have gone viral.
How to Spot Breaking News on Twitter
This combination of the most interesting threads, funny tweets, and email digests should keep you engaged with the best of Twitter. As you can see, you can actually keep up with Twitter without even using it yourself.
In fact, you can even follow breaking news on Twitter even if you don’t have an account. But it’s still best to be on Twitter and follow your favorite news sources.