What is that star thing? and What does it do?
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.
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.