Text-message reactions—a practice iPhone and iPad owners should be familiar with, where you long-press a message to append a little heart or thumbs up/thumbs down to something—are simple ways to convey a reaction without having to come up with something interesting to say. I find they save a ton of time on my iPhone, and I’m excited to see that they’re now rolling out to the great social smorgasboard that is Twitter, too.
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When your’re being inundated with autoplay videos and GIFs all across Twitter, making the service feel more like Times Square than a social network where everyone fights, it’s time to make a change. That’s especially true if a bunch of Twitter users—either those you follow, or those sliding into your mentions—are blasting you with animated images to aggravate an actual medical issue you might have.
Coder Myk Bilokonsky asked Twitter for things “that everyone in your field knows and nobody in your industry talks about because it would lead to general chaos.” The answers came from all over, and they range from life-altering to useless. Some are cold hard facts, some expert analyses, some are unfounded opinions. Here are the most interesting, shocking, and informative.
Twitter just announced that it is planning to free up usernames for inactive accounts. While that means that the coveted Twitter handle you’ve been eyeing might finally be yours, if you happen to grab it before anyone else, Twitter’s move comes with an unfortunate side effect: If someone you love is no longer around to use the service, their accounts might disappear, too.
A state-funded Russian propaganda agency is sowing discord in the U.S. through schmaltzy feel-good social media accounts, say researchers at Clemson University. These accounts, they claim, share clichéd “heartwarming” and “makes you think” content that sometimes goes viral. Then they slip in news that might be designed to “serve Russia’s interests in undermining Americans’ trust in our institutions.” And Americans like and share it.
Using two-factor authentication (2FA) is a smart, simple tactic to add a little extra data security in your life. For those unaware, 2FA is when you use a secondary authentication method—like code generator apps or Bluetooth keys—to validate your identity when logging into a website or app. There’s a similar version of the technology called two-step authentication (2SA), which sends authentication codes over text message or email, but this isn’t as secure as 2FA. In fact, it can be dangerous in certain circumstances.
If your Twitter feed keeps scrolling and jumping around for no reason, here’s how to fix it. Comms professional Evan Sutton points to the answer in Twitter’s settings menu. This works on both mobile and desktop.
Twitter’s new, extra-dark dark theme called “Lights Out” is finally available in the Twitter Android app. The feature first launched on iOS earlier this year. Unlike Twitter’s original dark mode (now called “Dim”) which changes the background and UI to dusky blueish-charcoal tones, Lights Out mode uses true blacks for a much darker aesthetic designed to reduce the power consumption on devices with OLED screens — though anyone can enable it, regardless of what kind of screen their Android smartphone or tablet has.
If you combine FOMO with aphasia, you get the feeling of going on Twitter or Reddit or Facebook, seeing everyone clearly talking about something, but not knowing what that thing is. You check the trending topics, but they’re just full of posts saying “Why is #EatMyBlempglorf trending!?” Here’s how to figure out what the hell is going on.
If you’re on Twitter, you’ve probably heard about US Senator Mitt Romney’s secret Twitter account, in which he called himself “Pierre Delecto” and kept track of his kids as well as journalists, political associates and a handful of celebrities.
I confess, I love using Twitter lists. While it’s “easy” to just scroll through the regular ol’ feed on your Twitter app, this process annoys me for two main reasons: It always reverts back to “top Tweets” instead of a chronological feed, which is frustrating, and I keep seeing random promoted tweets in my feed. Meh.