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Twitter Tips

A couple of tips today for those who post to Twitter …or indeed just read stuff on it.

As we’re all aware, what used to be the greatest social media site ever invented is currently doing its best to make itself less relevant and harder to use. Another idiotic recent update has removed the title and snippet from links which are quoted. So if I link to a web page in a tweet, instead of showing the featured image from the page and the URL, heading and subheading  as a ‘card’, all that’s now shown is the image …which means users don’t know what they’re clicking on. We now need to make it clear in the tweet itself what it is that people will be sent to if they click on the image. Or we need to put something explanatory in the image. It’s infuriating.

The content of the old ‘cards’ could be specified within a web page, and many content management systems specify this ‘Twitter card’ automatically. As some people have noticed, if we strip out these card instructions, our Tweets actually revert to getting a description, although this may not last:

Another way of getting the message over might be to include text in the accompanying image. As it happens, because most of these daily blog posts don’t have an image, I create one automatically (using a WordPress plugin) which just shows the headline. I never thought this would be such a good move!

It’s all very confusing.

But at least there’s this

Good news however for those of us who read Twitter using a Chromium based browser such as Chrome, Edge, Arc, Vivaldi or Brave. There’s an extension called Control Panel For Twitter which reverses many of the downgrades Twitter has introduced recently, as well as adding a load of things which just make it a nicer experience. If you read Twitter on a PC through the dedicated app, you might want to consider changing to a browser, just so you can use this.