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An intro to Favorite Tweets

What is that star thing? and What does it do?Favorites-256

There seems to be a lot of folks that haven’t really explored favoriting tweets or at least don’t see value of starring tweets of others so here’s a quick intro to one of the most overlooked little gems of Twitter.

What is a Favorite?

There is a small star under each tweet that allows you to favorite a tweet.

Everything else is open for interpretation and therein lies the problem. It isn’t readily apparent why someone would use this. Is this a bookmark or a high five?

The answer is yes.

How to use Favorite tweets

The standard disclaimer applies: There isn’t a wrong way and this isn’t an exhaustive list.

Method 1: Save a tweet for later.

You see a link in your tweet stream that you’d like to read but you don’t have time at that exact moment to digest the entire article. You can favorite the tweet so you can easily find it later and read it when it’s more convenient.

To see your favorited tweets just visit your Twitter profile and click on the Favorites tab.

This is Twitter’s official recommendation for how to use favorites, (See the Twitter help article on “What are Favorites?”).

Method 2: Show appreciation (give a little Twitter high five)

This is the method I prefer because it allows me to show appreciation to someone for their tweet without retweeting it. In my view, a retweet is for others whereas a favorite is for me and the author of the tweet. But I’ll give you a peek at tweets that I favorite.

To give me this freedom I use a service called instapaper to mark any links I want to use later. Every twitter app supports instapaper (usually a paper clip icon) and its an incredible system for creating a reading list. If you have an iPhone or iPad you’ll find the instapaper apps making for great reading. So by using instapaper it allows me to favorite whatever I like.

Method 3: Create a “Reviews” archive

This is a great tip for brands– Favorite a tweet when someone says something nice about your product or customer service. You can use these tweets in the future on promotional displays, real and digital, and it’s a quick way to show your CEO or a potential investor positive user feedback.

Method 4: Create an archive of tweets

Twitter search is atrocious so if you want to create a searchable archive of tweets you can get the rss feed of your favorited tweets and plug it into Google Reader. Nifty huh? Hattip to @TheFireTracker2 for this idea. (PS: To create a searchable archive of your own tweets create a Friendfeed account, but of course Facebook may pull the plug any day on FF)

Monitoring who favorites your tweets

There are a couple of ways to see when someone favorites your tweets. The first 2 are the most common and the last 2 are my favorite.

1) Twitter.com now includes mentions in the tab formally known as mentions. Just make sure to uncheck the “Show mentions only” checkbox.

2) Tweetdeck will also display favorites in your replies tab.


3) Boxcar iPhone App – This app is how I get push notifications for everything Twitter. In my experience its faster and more reliable, supports many services and comes with settings to set quiet times, sound notifications, and much more. Part of that more is the ability to get a push notification when someone favorites your tweet. It’s free and awesome. Visit Boxcar.io for more info.

4) Favstar.fm – A quirky but very useful service built completely around favorite Tweets. Authorize your twitter account to see who favorites your tweets. My friend @eric_andersen showed me a new feature tonight that shows the people I favorite the most.

Your Turn

Do you favorite tweets? How do you use them?

If this post encourages you to give them a try let me hear from you. Or tweet this post and I might just favorite it.

  • Back when Storify’s UI was cludgier, I faved tweets I wanted for the story and then dumped then into Storify from my faves tab in the service.

  • I should have included a tip that Evernote is another good option for reading later. I’ve mailed a tweet to my Evernote account before.

    There are some tweets that I like that just don’t fit for a RT so favs are perfect for that scenario. Thanks for reading Nathan.

  • Good point, I had once done that as well. I need to play with the latest version of Storify, always liked their product.

    Thanks for stopping by Luke

  • I used fav as a Read later list …but high five is not a bad idea.
    Also loved the fact that i can send it to evernote..
    Thank you for this informative article

  • Joelle Mekongo

    Good post. I’ve always used favorites as a read later aid and for high fiving. Thanks to you, I have more a few more options now :).

  • Margikenny

     I favorite tweets when they have given me a chuckle or when it is something I want to read later. I am glad you posted this. It is helpful info.

  • David Willingham

    I did not know you could do that. Up until now I would click
    the link and save the page as a favorite on the windows toolbar. This is so
    much easier.
    Thanks so much

  • Thanks Deepika.

    I should have mentioned Evernote because I’ll use that feature as well. I just email an article to my evernote private address.

    Glad you liked the article, thanks for reading.

  • Thanks Joelle

    I think many of us used them as “Read Later” but once I moved this function to instapaper I really could use my favorites in a whole new way. Thanks for reading.

  • Thank you Margi

    I do very much the same. If it makes me smile or encourages me it gets a favorite. Glad you found it helpful and I appreciate you reading.

  • You are most welcome David. Twitter doesn’t do a good job of really explaining the function of some of these features but favorites are really handy. Glad this info could make things easier.

  • Gjames4

    Thanks so much for these tips. I have Instapaper installed, but I don’t see a paperclip in TweetDeck or any other way to mark a tweet for reading later. Please help!

  • What mobile Twitter Mobile app are you using?

    The Twitter app has a paperclip at the bottom of the tweet and also on the swipe menu. To setup instapaper just got to Accounts->Settings->Advanced->Read Later and setup your enter your instapaper account.

  • Gjames4

    I use a Blackberry and just the basic Twitter app. For desktop I use TweetDeck. I don’t see any paperclips…on either BB Twitter, desktop Twitter or TweetDeck. Not sure what app your directions were for – couldn’t find that series on anything I looked at!

  • Tweetdeck desktop doesn’t support instapaper. Their logic is you can open it in a browser and then use the Instapaper “Read Later” bookmarklet. Never used a blackberry so I’m not familar with the options offered through that app. Sorry

  • Sometimes I +1 so I do not irritate the owner of the tweets I favorite, if the person who tweets said material has an option for a +1.  I almost +1’d this article, but for some reason, the button isn’t working for me.  Good post! 🙂

  • Thank for bringing this to my attention, I’ll get it fixed. Thanks

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