Gokul NK


Tag your tweets and add private notes

Use your insights from your twitter feeds. Search across your tagged tweets and private notes from a single dashboard

Twitter adds bookmarks features

Twitter recently added the option to bookmark your tweets. This was a great feature I was looking out for. These days I use twitter for keeping myself up-to-date about the latest happenings in tech and product world. Whenever I come across a tweet that might come handy later I used to add it to bookmarks. If you have not used this feature do check it out. The feature is enabled by default on the app. If you want to do the same on the desktop version you need to visit the mobile version. Looks like twitter is moving toward this new interface in an experimental mode.

Add bookmarks from desktop

You can also view all your bookmarks from the bookmarks link.

Bookmarks listing page

I want more !!!

While this was good I always felt like I wanted more. Two things that I wanted most were ability to tag the tweets and add private notes. As I mentioned in my Declaration of Intent I am dedicating my time and energy in the following topics only : Javascript, Linux, React, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain. So most of my reading is also centred around this. So I naturally felt like tagging my tweets across these categories. This was something I really wanted. Looking at the pace twitter is implementing this I felt that they might take at-least an year or more to implement these features. So I started using our own chrome extension for categorising that tweets that mattered to me.

Introducing Highlights

Highlights is a chrome extension that helps you highlight as you read across the web. We have been working on this for the last couple of months. Using this extension in addition to making highlights you can also tag content and add private notes. Considering that “Add to bookmarks” we thought of integrating twitter bookmarks into our application. But sadly twitter API doesn’t expose user’s bookmarks at all. That was a bummer. Considering how big @twitter is we had almost taken this for granted. But looks like twitter doesn’t like to share too much of data. Looks like they are making sure that other interfaces/applications don’t compete with them.

It works across the web

Luckily since our extension works across the web as long a unique content has a unique url I was able to use our extension in my flow without too many changes. So whenever I see a relevant or important tweet, I just click on the timestamp to get the unique url of the content. Then I use our extension to highlight, tag or add private notes. For example I got a notification about this tweet and wanted to reply to it from official handle https://twitter.com/usehighlights Since I didn’t want to miss the flow(writing this post) I just highlighted the relevant text, added private notes to it and tagged it based on how I would search for this particular tweet later. I can always revisit later and tweet when I have time.

Once I am done with saving it, I can always search for this tweet and its context from our search dashboard. All I had to do was run a search like https://alpha.app.learningpaths.io/#/highlights?search=&tag:twitter

Why is twitter blocking user access to their own content?

Ideally we were thinking of just integrating with twitter’s flow so that users can just use the normal flow for bookmarking tweets and then we could pull these bookmarked tweets into our dashboard. It would have been a much smoother flow provided twitter gave access to the API. Looking at twitter staff response and the twitter API roadmap it appeared like they were not even keen on making this API available in the future. This was a bummer but it reiterated our faith in the product that we are building. We strongly feel that URL is the centre of the open web and users should have access to their data. Especially the stalwarts of internet like Facebook and twitter shouldn’t stifle users access to their own data by limiting their APIs?

What are your thoughts? We would like to hear your thoughts about using Twitter’s bookmarks flow, does our extension really solve the problem for you and if we can do anything more to improve your experience.

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