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How to Manage Your Twitter Feed

        Tech | Internet Tips

Tips and Tools for Managing Your Twitter Feed
You can use Twitter itself to categorize those you follow into lists (like Wil Wheaton here), and even view others' lists  and follow them if they're public.
You can use Twitter itself to categorize those you follow into lists (like Wil Wheaton here), and even view others' lists and follow them if they're public.
Screenshot courtesy Shanna Freeman

It's easy to suffer from Twitter feed bloat. Following one person or business usually leads you to others, and Twitter helpfully makes suggestions for you based on what the people you follow are following. Then when somebody begins following you, you may feel compelled to follow them as well. Before you know it, you're scrolling through your feed looking for the people, businesses and topics that most interest you and trying to keep up with the action.

It's important to note that unlike with other social media sites, you aren't becoming "friends" with somebody when you choose to follow their Tweets. If someone is following you but you don't see anything particularly fascinating about their feed, don't add them back. Conversely, if you're following someone who doesn't follow you or interact with you in any way, feel free to delete them. You may also want to set a limit on how many people that you're willing to follow; that way if you want to add somebody new, you'll have to make room first.

Another way to quickly pare down your feed is to make your Twitter account private. That way, only people that you approve can read your Tweets, which will automatically limit the number of re-Tweets and direct messages that you'll receive. You may also think twice about following everyone who wants to follow you since you have to approve them first. If you're using your Twitter account to interact with a business or a celebrity, making your feed private won't allow you to reply to them or direct your Tweets to them using hashtags. If your feed is out of control, though, it's an easy way to scale back.

Twitter has a useful management feature that many people don't fully take advantage of: lists. Lists operate like filters. You can assign every account on your feed to a list, and then use the lists to read your feed by priority or look for something specific. For example, create a "family" feed so you can just see what those people are up to if you don't have time to read your entire feed. Just click on the silhouette icon in each account's profile, drop down to "add to list" and start forming your lists. You can also save searches and then use them when you want to find out what people are saying about a specific topic.

If limiting your followers or creating lists isn't helping you manage your Twitter feed, next we'll look at how you can use other applications to do it.