Tag Archives: Twitter

Twitter Halloween Surprise #trick or #treat

has a Halloween surprise for its users. Just type #trick or #treat in the web interface and you will be treated with some Halloween Goodies.

Here is what I got when I typed #treat in the web interface.

twitter_treat

Typing #trick displays this.

twitter_trick_page

And if your not scared enough, the page will automatically refresh to show you some zombies when you type in #trick.

twitter_trick_zombie

Happy Halloween to all the Techie buzzers, have fun and play #trick or #treat.

Twitter Releases Lists (Beta)

Not so long ago, Pallab wrote an article about Twitter incorporating a list feature that enabled users to manage the information overload. Today, just as I logged into my account I found an alert waiting for me with a large reddish orange New!preceding it that managed to catch my attention more than the super large (and no-doubt super-chirpy) Twitter bird. I had Twitter Lists – A great way to organize the people you follow and discover new and interesting accounts. in (Beta) of course.   So what is a Twitter List? And what differentiates it from the host of similar features touted by many Twitter clients such as DestroyTwitter’s Groups?

To better answer those questions, it would be easier to show the entire process of making a list and finding strengths (and flaws) of this new feature.

twitter_lists_homepage

This picture shows my Twitter home screen as of now. There is of course the large alert, and along with that, my following/followers row has an addition called listed. This counts the number of lists you are a part of. Below the search bar is the Lists explanation and a link to create a new list.

new_twitter_list_url

Clicking that brings up an overlay dialog box that asks you two things: the name of the list and its visibility. The name of the list is becomes the page name (i.e. twitter.com/username/listname) and a private list can only be accessed by you, while a public list can be accessed by anyone. Pretty straightforward.

add_people_to_twitter_lists

The list gets created and the only occupant of the list is a search bar urging you to find people to add to that list or you can add them from your following page as well. I decided to go to my following page and add people.

add_followers_to_list

Here I see an added button to the left of the settings called Manage lists in which <username> appears. Clicking on it brings up a checkbox. After clicking the checkbox I see a small Your lists: URLadded to the bottom of the user.

Add non follower

You can also add a user who does not follow you (and you do not follow the user either). Just a click and you are done!

Final List

And finally, the list view. Here you have made a personal timeline of stuff you want to see grouped under one view.

For all I know, the private list is indistinguishable from DestroyTwitter’s Groups feature. Thus, for me, this was nothing new. I guess the catch lies in the public lists which allow people with similar interests to follow, say, amateur astronomers and their like (the Twitter Team List is an excellent example).

P.S. Don’t forget to follow all the Techie Buzz authors at the Techie Buzz Twitter list.

Automatically Rotate Your Twitter Profile Picture And Background Image

Seeing the same profile picture for months makes your profile a little boring. However, it is not always easy to remember and change your picture timely. Now you don’t have to worry about doing it manually since there is tool that can do this for you.

TwiBack is a cool Twitter app that allows you to upload several images for your profile picture and let TwiBack know when to change them. Using TwiBack, you can set your profile picture and background image to change daily, weekly or monthly. You can also specify the exact hour when you want your new image to go up.

TwiBack

TwiBack is also very useful if you often run or participate in campaigns, and want to put up an avatar for a specific time in the future. Using the service is simple, just sign in with your Twitter credentials and start uploading the images.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

TwiBack is a great tool to rotate your profile picture and background image. It makes your Twitter profile more interesting and helps you participate in future campaigns without any effort.

Easily Share Screenshots on Twitter with Screentweetr

I usually take a lot of screenshots on and share it using TwitPic. The usual process of sharing screenshots involves, taking a screenshot and uploading it using or using the web interface for TwitPic. Sometimes this becomes a tedious task, since it involves multiple processes to just accomplish a single task.

screentweetr_welcome_screen

Also Read: Tools and Services to Share Music and Videos in Twitter

I got used to using another app called Localhostr uploader, which provided a easy way to take screenshot and upload it to the web, unfortunately using that too required to follow multiple processes, when it came to sharing those screenshots on twitter.

 screentweetr_logon_screen

ScreenTweetr is a a very useful application based on , which will allow you to quickly take screenshots, upload it, and share it on twitter. Once you download and install the application, you will have to associate your twitter account with it.

screentweetr_screenshot

To take a screenshot, press the print screen button on your PC or use Alt + Print Screen to capture the active window. Once you do that, the Screentweetr application will get activated, allowing you to upload the image to your chosen service along with a message that will get posted to twitter.

Screentweetr currently supports uploading images to TwitPic, TweetPhoto, Twitgoo, ScreenTweet, yFrog, MobyPicture, img.ly, Posterous, TwitrPix and TwitDoc.

Techie Buzz Verdict

techie-buzz-recommended-software[1] This is an awesome application for Twitter users who frequently share screenshots or images on twitter. With a wide range of supported services for uploading images, this app makes it a breeze for many users.

The only sore point is that the app does not support OAUTH validation, which is the norm these days for associating an application with twitter, without having to give out your password.

In addition to that, this app does not provide an option to modify the used to take screenshots, and upload them to twitter. This becomes a bit of problem if you use multiple screenshot software, like in my case. I don’t want to modify the shortcut keys for my regular screenshot software, and ScreenTweetr will only work if I turn my regular screenshot software for creating blog images off. Having an option to setup custom shortcut keys for Screentweetr, is something I would like to see in the next update. Hope the developer takes note of this.

That aside, this is a highly , and will definitely save you a lot of efforts to share images on twitter.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Download Screentweetr

Google Already Indexing Twitter?

A few days back Google announced a search deal with Twitter and so did , however, unlike Bing, Google was still to come up with the actual integration.

twitter_google_indexing

To my surprise, since the day Google announced their deal with , I have been seeing some web alerts for twitter tweets.

twitter_google_indexing_2

Apparently two of my tweets were indexed by Google, you can view the tweets here and here. So has Google already begun to index twitter tweets? Many might argue that Google already indexes twitter tweets, however those tweets are usually available when you run a site search for twitter, the above search results are appearing in Google web search results.

Though this may not be the final integration, looks like Google had already begun working on integrating twitter into web search results, and the deal signing was just a formality. We will keep you updated whenever we come across more news on this topic.

Best TweetDeck Tips, Tricks and Use Cases

I have been using for quite sometime now, and I must admit that sometimes it is a bit of memory hogger. However, the fact that it is one of the best clients available today, I continue to use it, albeit by tweaking it to use lesser memory and provide me with more functionality.

Here are some tips, tricks and use cases, which will help you out when it comes to using TweetDeck. Most of the tips are generated using TweetDeck version 0.31.1, so you might not see the options if you are using a older version.

Disable Notifications: In my experience, the notifications provided by TweetDeck are the biggest memory hoggers. It is best to disable the notifications to reduce memory usage in the application.

turn_tweetdeck_notifications_off

To disable the notifications, go to the Settings -> Notifications, and click on the Detail on and Summary on to turn them off.

Save on API Calls: Twitter has a limitation on the number of API calls any third-party service or application can make to them. If you are a heavy twitter user you might run out of API calls quickly, and then have to use the web interface to update your status and view other’s updates.

tweetdeck_disable_profile_views

If you use TweetDeck, you can save on few twitter API calls, by disabling some features. By default, TweetDeck is setup to display user profiles directly inside the app, you can save some API calls by choosing to Open profiles in a web browser instead. Go to Settings -> General to make that change.

Quick Reply, Retweet, Direct Message or Favorite a Tweet: When I first started out using TweetDeck, I was a bit clueless about these features.

qucik_actions_in_tweetdeck favorite_tweet_in_tweetdeck

When you hover over the profile image of a twitter user, you will find options to reply to a tweet, retweet the message and even send a direct message to the user. To favorite a tweet, click on the other actions icon and select Favorite from the Tweet submenu.

Save Time While Typing Twitter Handles: In twitter, you need to type the handle of the user, preceded by a @in order to send a message to them. You can have TweetDeck auto-complete the twitter usernames for you.

autocomplete_twitter_usernames tweetdeck_username_autocomplete

To turn on auto-complete, go to Settings -> General, and select the checkbox next to Use autocomplete for usernames. The next you type @ in your tweet, a new overlay will popup, allowing you to autocomplete the twitter username. This overlay will also show up when you begin your tweet with D, the shortkey for sending direct messages to users.

Create Groups of Users: Twitter by default does not provide users with an option to create groups, they have introduced a feature called lists, but it is not available for all users yet.

tweetdeck_groups tweetdeck_group_column add_new_users_to_group

Using TweetDeck, you can add users to different groups and then track them in a separate column. To add a group, click on the twitter icon and then click on the groups icon in the overlay window. Give you group a name and select the members who form part of the group.

Once you have added the group members, click on Add group, it should then add a new column to TweetDeck, where you can follow tweets from just the group members.

Adding new members to a group is easy, just hover over a user’s profile picture and click on the Other actionsicon. From the user menu, click on add to group to add the user to a pre-created group.

Limit Number of Updates per Column: If you are like me and have 20 columns related to different accounts, searches and trends, you might want to limit the number of updates that are shown in each column to reduce memory usage.

limit_updates_per_tweetdeck_column

To limit the number of updates per column, go to Settings -> General and change the Max numbers of updates in a column to suit your needs.

Access Multiple Twitter Accounts in TweetDeck: Many users choose to have multiple accounts in Twitter. For example, I have a personal account @keithdsouza and a account for Techie Buzz, @techiebuzzer where we push latest news updates.

add_new_twitter_account_to_tweetdeck

TweetDeck allows you to add and manage multiple twitter accounts from the same interface. To add new accounts to TweetDeck, go to Settings -> Accounts and choose to Add new accounts.

Access Facebook and MySpace Feeds in TweetDeck: TweetDeck allows users to add and MySpace feeds to their interface. In addition to that you can also comment and like items from your friends on Facebook, directly from TweetDeck.

tweetdeck_facebook_news_feed

To add your Facebook or MySpace account to TweetDeck, click on the icons on the top of the application and follow the steps to authenticate your accounts. Once done, you will see new columns with Facebook and MySpace updates in TweetDeck. You can also follow the previous tip to add new Facebook or MySpace accounts to TweetDeck.

Quickly Search and View Twitter Trends: TweetDeck allows you to quickly search the twitter Timeline for keywords and trends.

twitter_search_column twitter_search_update_column

To add a new search, click on the twitter column and then click on the search icon. Input the keywords for the search and click on the search icon next to the input box. This should add a new search column, where you can follow all the public timeline updates from twitter that contain the keywords. You can also all the latest trends in Twitter, by adding a column for Twitscoop.

Sync your Accounts across multiple PCs: Sometime back TweetDeck announced the ability to sync your accounts across multiple PCs, by providing users with cloud storage on their servers.

create_new_tweetdeck_sync_account

To create your own account on TweetDeck servers, go to Settings -> Sync and create a new TweetDeck account. Once you have created your account, your searches and default twitter account will be synced with TweetDeck servers.

You will be able to access the settings from any other PC or even your iPhone, once you have signed into your sync account. TweetDeck will automatically alert you to add columns when you access TweetDeck on a new PC.

View and Follow New Followers in TweetDeck: A new feature introduced in TweetDeck version 0.31.1 allows you to view and follow new followers inside the application.

tweetdeck_add_new_followers_column new_followers_choose_account

To add the new followers column, click on the twitter icon and the on the New followers icon. If you have multiple accounts you will be asked to choose, which account to display the new followers for. Make that selection and click on Finish. A new column will be added to TweetDeck, from where you will be able to see the new followers and also follow them from within TweetDeck.

Quickly Report & Block Spam Users in TweetDeck: Twitter is notorious for spam, and have been taking some steps to allow users to easily report spam users.

tweetdeck_block_and_report_spam

However, if you use TweetDeck, it is much more easier to report spam and block users. If you want to report & block a user. Click on the more options on the profile picture and go to the User menu. From the submenu, either choose to Block the user or Block & Report the user as Spam.

block_and_report_spam

When you choose the second option, a popup overlay will be displayed, asking you to confirm the block. Once you click on Ok, the user will be blocked and a direct message will be sent to @spam with the twitter user’s handle.

Quickly Drag and Drop Images for Sharing: The latest versions of TweetDeck allows users to quickly share images and photos by dragging it to the update textbox.

choose_photo_uploading_service_tweetdeck

When you drag and drop images to the update input box, you will be given an option to choose which service you want to upload the images to. TweetDeck supports uploading images to TwitPic, YFrog and TweetPhoto.

You can setup your accounts for the above services by visiting Settings -> Services.

Record and Upload videos to Twitter: You can record and upload videos from TweetDeck, by associating your 12seconds account.

twitter_12_seconds_integration

Once you add your account, by clicking on the twitter account and adding the 12 seconds service. You will see a new column with the 12 seconds videos you have created, click on the record button at the top of the column to record videos and share it on twitter.

Associate your Bit.ly account with TweetDeck: TweetDeck allows you to shorten URLs using several services. Out of them Bit.ly provides users with an option to create API accounts, in order to track the shared URLs.

bitly_tweetdeck_integration

You can associate your Bit.ly username and API key with the shortened URLs by visiting Settings -> Services and entering your Bit.ly information.

Summarizing: I am certainly happy with TweetDeck and use it on both my PC and the iPod touch, these tips may come in useful to you, to help you use this software better. However, there might be something’s, which I   may have missed out on, so do feel free to add your own tips to this list. Also don’t forget to tell us, if these tips come in handy to you.

Please note: TweetDeck is based on , you will need to download and install that before you can use this application.

Google Announces Search Deal with Twitter

Close on the heels of  signing a deal with and , to include results from two of the most powerful social networking sites, Google has also made a official announcement about a new tie-up with twitter to include tweets into Google search results.

According to Google:

Given this new type of information and its value to search, we are very excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in our search results. We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months.

Looks like, Twitter has finally cracked a revenue model, and though the amount of money involved in the two deals are not yet confirmed, we expect it to be in millions.

To sum it up, two of the top search engines will now display real-time results, which is massive for users who want fresh information everytime they search for something.

Microsoft Ties Up With Twitter and Facebook: Will Integrate Real Time Updates Into Bing

Microsoft-Bing-Twitter-Facebook The search engine war is on! Earlier today we revealed that Google may be planning on launching its own music service to enhance music related search results. Now according to latest reports, Microsoft is expected to announce non-exclusive deals with both Facebook and Twitter later today.

This deal will give Microsoft access to both Facebook and Twitter status updates and will undoubtedly give them a huge advantage over Google. Google has clearly started that real time search is their biggest challenge. Unfortunately for them, the partnership with Twitter and Facebook would offer Bing a wealth of data that won’t be available to them. It has already been demonstrated more than once that Twitter is extremely agile when it comes to breaking news. The access to Twitter (and Facebook) data stream will allow Bing to react faster to emerging trends.

While this deal is undoubtedly a big step for Microsoft Bing, it must be remembered that both of them are non-exclusive in nature. In other words, there is nothing stopping Google from partnering with Twitter or Facebook tomorrow. A lot will also depend on Microsoft’s ability to properly integrate real time data received from Facebook and Twitter.

[ via All Things D ]

Create A Twitter ShoutBox For Your Website

Twitter is the way to go! Every other person that you know tweets and what better way to interact with your blog/website visitors than letting them tweet their thoughts? If you think that is a lot of work, think again!

Jotabl is a web application that lets you embed Twitter based shoutboxes anywhere on the web. Simply sign in to Jotabl with your Twitter account and specify the URL of your website. Jotabl will provide you with a small HTML code that you can paste anywhere on your website to have the shout box. Simple as that!

If you want more options, you can customize the look of your shout box and set it to filter swear words. When somebody visits your website, all they need to do is sign in with their Twitter account and they are all set to post a message on the Shout box. You can also block any notorious users from using your shout box by signing in to your account   at Jotabl.

Twitter Crosses 5 Billion Tweets

Looks like we are dealing with huge numbers these days. Just earlier today, the Photoshop.com app crossed a million downloads, to add to that list, the micro-blogging network everyone loves and hates, and who 60% of users hardly use, have crossed a new milestone by registering 5 Billion tweets, that’s 5000000000to be precise.

Twitter’s database has been hammered consistently, whenever something out of the blue has happened. Take for example, the Iran controversy, the balloon boy controversy, Mumbai terrorist attacks and the Hudson river plane landing.

The service though, hasn’t been without its share of downtimes. The downtimes are pretty less compared to when I actually started using twitter, but they still happen pretty often. And when they do happen, the one phrase you might hear from most twitter users on and Friendfeed is sigh, twitter is down.

twitter_5_billionth_tweet

The 5 billionth tweet contains the text Oh lord, we are pretty sure that most of the guys behind twitter might be using this phrase in astonishment, when they passed this milestone. As for me, I am nearing a milestone on twitter of a meager 20000 tweets :-).

Kudos to the entire twitter team on this milestone, we hope that you keep providing us with a awesome service, that has practically made instant messaging a outdated form of communication.

[via CNET]

Airtel Launches TweetSMS To Tweet From Mobile

Over the last few years, Twitter has seen phenomenal growth in traffic in India after the stars like Gulpanag, Shashi Tharoor, Barkha Dutt and more started twittering prolifically. Airtel now wishes to cash on the same. Airtel has launched a new service called “TweetSMS” for its subscribers to receive twitter updates directly on to their mobile phones.

twitter airtel

Earlier when Twitter was launched, it was meant to be updated only via SMS. Only later on did they decide to have an update option on the web platform. Yet till mid of 2008, twitter provided SMS update option, which they had to withdraw for huge amount of traffic they received.

So Twitter is now Teaming up with various operators in different countries for SMS updates. In India, Twitter has teamed up exclusively with Airtel for Free SMS updates for unknown period for time.

To signup for tweetSMS, An Airtel subscriber simply has to SMS Signup to 53000 and then follow the instructions that comes via SMS to complete the registration process and start tweeting. This application allows you to stay in touch with your twitter friends and also update your status without needing any internet connection on your phone. However note that the cost would be Rs 1/SMS sent.

This is definitely a smart move by both Airtel and Twitter, as SMS is widely used by Indians than surfing on their mobile phones. Large part of Airtel subscribers come from youth which might get attracted to this offer. India coming only 2/3rd in twitter usage, Twitter could no longer ignore India for providing more facilities and strong market possibility.

(via)

Twitpic Suffers Major Glitch? All Twitpic Image Views Counters Reset

Twitpic the popular image share service for , seems to have silently endured a database crash or had a severe glitch in their system. While I was browsing pictures on Twitpic, I saw that all the image view counters have been reset to 1.

All of the images in my Twitpic account seems to have some glitch, most of the image counters have been reset.

twitpic_crash_1 twitpic_crash_2

There is no official mention about any problems on the Twitpic blog. We have contacted the Twitpic team to get more information about this issue. We are still awaiting information from them. We will update this post once we get a official confirmation.

Update: TwitPic responded back with the following response:

Hello, we are currently working on a new view counter for our website. In the process, you image views may have been temporarily reset to 0. We are working to restore the correct image count.

Thank you for your patience.

Have you checked your Twitpic account? Did your image view counter get reset? Do let us know about it.

Twitter Adds Easy Spam Reporting Links to Profiles

Every now and then you might come across a nutcase or two on . These spammers, spam you with stupid links, or send replies to your tweet, when you include certain keywords in it. Those people definitely do not deserve to be on twitter, however because of things out of our control, they will always be around.

twitter_spam_reporting

Earlier, reporting spam was a pain, as you had to send a message to the twitter spam team (@spam) and include the twitter handle of the spammer. However, twitter has now introduced a new feature, using which users can report a spam user to twitter, directly from the spammers profile.

twitter_spam_report_confirmation

To report a user as spam, just visit their profile and click on the report username for spamlink. Clicking on the link should popup a Javascript alert. Click on the Ok button to confirm and report the user as a spam. Clicking this link will also block this user from sending messages to you.

This is a definite improvement, in helping twitter and their users, clean the ecosystem of these scumbags. However, we still believe that twitter has a long way before they can be spam-free, one of the reasons why we still think that Twitter is turning into a spammers paradise.

Best Twitter Plugins for WordPress

Quite recently WordPress.com users got the ability to automatically tweet posts to twitter, but what about other self-hosted users? Well, there are tons of plugins and tools available for WordPress.org users.

twitter_wordpress

In this post, we will take a look at some of the most useful twitter plugins for WordPress users.

Twitter Tools – Twitter Tools is a plugin that creates a complete integration between your WordPress blog and your Twitter account.

TweetSuite – TweetSuite is a Twitter-WordPress integration plugin that includes retweet buttons, digg like tweet button, automatic tweeting of new posts and more.

Twitter Widget Pro – A widget that properly handles twitter feeds, including @username, #hashtag, and link parsing. It supports displaying profiles images, and even lets you control whether to display the time and date of a tweet.

TweetMeme – The TweetMeme retweet button easily allows your blog to be retweeted. The button also provides a current count of how many times your story has been retweeted throughout twitter.

Tweetbacks – Allows you to pull in comments from twitter and displays it as tweetbacks on your blog (requires manual editing of theme).

BackType Connect – Allows you to pull comments related to your blog from twitter and other websites.

TwitterCounter – Allows you to integrate TwitterCounter.com badges on your site.

Do you know of any other plugins that can make it to this list? Do let us know about them through your comments.

Image Credit: TechCityInc

Create Your Own Twitter Background With TwitLay

Backgrounds and themes are an important expression of your personality. Just like all the other platforms, having a unique Twitter background is the trend nowadays but not everybody has the time or skills to create cool Twitter backgrounds.This is where TwitLay comes in.

TwitLay is an application for Twitter that lets you create customized and unique Twitter backgrounds within minutes. You can upload your own background pictures, customize the layout, change the colors and even add text to the backgrounds to make them more personal. Moreover, you can preview all this in real-time and apply all the changes to your Twitter profile with a single click.

You can also browse through some popular backgrounds created by other users and customize them.