One of Twitter’s less talked about features is also one of its most useful — favoriting tweets. I typically use Twitter’s Favorite feature to mark tweets with links to read later (though some of the best ways of using it are unfortunately going away thanks to Twitter’s new rules), while others I know use it as they would a Like button. Favorited tweets are, therefore, worth checking out. And wouldn’t it be great to see what Twitter users across the globe are favoriting, all in one place?
That’s exactly what Favstar is. The app puts an array of tools to find the latest and greatest tweets in in the Twitterverse at your disposal. Whether you’re looking for popular tweets from all over or from just a single user, or want to find out which of your tweets are making waves, Favstar can find them for you. Let’s see just how useful this app is, shall we?
While Twitter’s web app lets you see the tweets only you’ve favorited, Favstar allows you to see tweets favorited by other users, including those you follow and those you don’t. You can even create a list of people whose top tweets you want to see (without necessarily following them) and in doing so, find fun thoughts, ideas, links and people on Twitter, enhancing your experience on the world’s preferred 140-character social network.
You’ll naturally need to sign up with your Twitter account to use Favstar. Once you’ve done so, you can use the app for free with some limitations, or remove them by subscribing to a paid plan that costs US$29.99 for 6 months.
Since there’s so much to see on the cool kids’ part of Twittertown, Favstar has kept its navigation simple by dividing tweets into three sections. The Everyone section allows you to check out recent top tweets from all over as well and can be personalized based on who you’re interested in following (more on that in just a bit).
The Me section lists your own top tweets, based on when people have favorited or retweeted your nuggets of wisdom. You can choose to see your oldest, newest or absolute best top tweets. You can also specify a user whose top tweets you’d like to see, similar to how they’re shown in the Me section. Plus, you can see the tweets that user has favorited by choosing to view his/her Discovered tweets.
Discovering great tweets
Favstar’s Everyone section is the app’s main draw — this is where you can find new tweets and tweeple to check out. Apart from recent top tweets from all over Twitter, you’ll see tweets favorited by people you follow and also those from your Favstar list — a curated set of users whose top tweets you want to follow (regardless of whether you follow them in Twitter’s traditional sense).
Adding people to your Favstar list (which also prompts you to add people who you already follow and favorite/retweet) influences the tweets displayed in the Everyone section. There’s also a Leaderboard, which features very recent tweets and allows you to filter displayed tweets by how many times they’ve been favorited or retweeted, in increments of 50, to a maximum of 250 favorites/retweets.
Pro members on Favstar can ‘award’ (or superfavorite, as I like to think of it) tweets, which are featured as Tweets of the Day and show up in a sub-section by the same name. And finally, there’s the great All Time sub-section, which displays epic tweets that have received the most favorites and retweets, regardless of age.
What about Me?
Your own tweets are important too, and Favstar makes it easy to see just how many people think so in the Me section. In here, you can check out your most popular tweets and filter by most favorited/retweeted (Best Of), age (Recent/Oldest), and of course, tweets that you favorited earlier (Discovered).
You can also see what people you follow are favoriting, in the Faved by Friends sub-section. And if you’re curious about a particular Twitter user gets up to, you can look up his/her favoriting activity by just entering their handle and viewing their top tweets and discoveries, just as you would in your own section.
Even now, I hear from countless people that Twitter is hard to get started with — at first you don’t know what to say (or not say), who to follow and what to expect out of using it. Favstar is a great way to get acquainted with how things work, since you’ll be able to see what kind of tweets pique users’ interest and which folks make the most noise.
I’ve been using Twitter fairly actively over the past year and follow people who’re involved in technology, design and music that I come across while reading and researching online, which is great — but my timeline has become a little one-note of late. Using Favstar, I found a bunch of new accounts to follow, from witty comics to travel enthusiasts to photography mavens.
Favstar also offers stats for tweets (favorite counts and retweet counts) and users, and even supports keyboard shortcuts (hit Alt to activate them – overlays on navigation buttons indicate which keys to press). I’d have loved to see search and Browse by Category features, because as you’ll realize after using Favstar for a while, the most retweeted and favorited tweets are by comedians, and not all of us are here for just the funnies.
US$5 a month on Favstar scores you the ability to give Tweet of the Day awards to notable tweets, see more tweets than the limited free plan allows, find out who’s retweeting your tweets, and receive custom notifications and hourly updates. While that’s not a large sum, it’s a bit more than I’d like to pay for a casual-use app, especially when I pay similar amounts for more essential ones.
Should you check out Favstar.fm? If you’re a Twitter junkie, yes — you’re bound to stumble upon something interesting, whether it’s a LOL-worthy tweet or that source of DIY tips you’ve been looking for all this time. If you’re a serious user who’d like to keep tabs on who’s retweeting what you’re saying and want to understand what makes your followers tick, the paid plan might be worth signing up for.