Twitter can be an awesome tool and is, with no doubt, my favourite social network. Personally, the sleek design and functionality of the Twitter app on Mac draws me to use native apps instead, but when I was a Windows users, the web app was my favourite method of connecting. Luckily, being browser-based, the Twitter website can be manipulated with some extensions to customise the experience you have with it.
In today’s roundup, we’re going to take a look at some of the best browser extensions that optimise, customise and manipulate the Twitter experience on the web.
Twitter’s got a nice, clean, update look in #NewTwitter, but it’s not necessarily a site everyone wants to use on a daily basis. Feather is essentially a theme for Twitter that is enabled through a browser extension and offers up a clean, elegant alternative to Twitter’s default look.
Perhaps the biggest addition is the light-coloured, fixed-width header but there are also a bunch of tweaks throughout the website including some nice extra animations.
Browsers: Safari, Chrome
Developer: Chris Masterson
Twitter offers up Facebook-style follow suggestions in your sidebar, based on running marketing campaigns and your current subscriptions. However, this can be an annoying part of the overall experience of Twitter on the web, and this extension, basically, gets rid of it.
Developer: Steve Streza
Not everyone likes having to view their Twitter feed on the Twitter.com web app, nor to have to do so in a native app. Tweet Bar puts your stream into your browser window by proxy of a toolbar that sits under your address bar.
The Tweet Bar is a great tool, especially if you’re using Safari on Mac OS X in full-screen mode, allowing you simply to show the toolbars to view your stream rather than have to switch between desktops or tabs.
Developer: Julian Kussman
Twitter for Safari is an integration of Twitter’s trends feature right into Apple’s browser, allowing you to quickly find out what people are saying about current events and trends. Additionally, the toolbar allows users to tweet out the article they are currently on.
You can even track mentions of the page you’re on, making it a great tool for website administrators and bloggers.
Twitter Address Bar Search is an official Twitter extension for Firefox, although quite different to the previously mentioned Twitter extension for Safari. This add-on puts Twitter as an available search engine in Firefox’s.
Additionally, by prefixing search terms with a hash (#) or an at sign (@) in the address bar, Firefox will automatically opt to search Twitter by that means too.
Power Twitter is to Twitter what Better Facebook is to Facebook. Essentially, Power Twitter takes the Twitter.com experience and enhances it with some additional features. For starters, Power Twitter adds new links atop the tweet editor for quickly posting different types of tweets and displays media inline.
Power Twitter almost makes the Twitter experience like Facebook, complete with notifications counter in the top bar.
Developer: 83 Degrees
Twitter’s 140-character limit can be quite restrictive, so many users employ third-party services in order to “link” to the full, longer versions of the tweets. shortxt adds this functionality right into Twitter via a right-click menu when composing a Tweet. This saves time and allows you to get your full message across.
Additionally, if you’ve noticed a few of your subscriptions using the service, the plugin will be able to pull up the full text of shortxt messages in the tweet.
Developer: Mike Cray
Tweetfilter is a feature-enhancing browser extension for Twitter.com hiding some features (presumably those in the least favour with users) and adding new ones. As the name suggests, Tweetfilter centres mainly around filtering Twitter content such as retweets, keywords, specific usernames, hashtags etc. Of course, you can also add custom filters with operators to target specific results.
Additionally, Tweetfilter can do all sorts of preferable stuff including highlighting tweets mentioning your username, showing friend status and adds the ability to easily retweet in the old quote style.
Browser: Firefox, Chrome (bookmarklet for IE, Opera, Safari)
Of course, there’s a bunch more Twitter extensions, these are just some of our favourites. If you have a favourite we’ve missed off the list, be sure to share it in the comments section below.
Editor’s note: If you do still prefer native apps, and wish you could use Twitter for Mac on your PC, I’d recommend trying out MetroTwit or Blu. Those were two of the nicest Twitter apps I ever used in Windows 7.