3 Ways to Cut Down on the Noise on Twitter

One of the most common reasons people give up on Twitter is because it’s too “noisy”. There are simply too many tweets that they don’t care about, constantly streaming through their timeline. This noise is natural from a network that sees about one billion tweets sent out every week, but it doesn’t mean you have to put up with it! Here are three ways to cut down on the noise on Twitter to have a more harmonious tweeting experience.

Use lists

Twitter lists are perhaps among the most underrated aspect of Twitter. However, they are a powerful way to curate tweets from only those users you want to hear from at a particular time.

Let’s say you’re a food blogger interested in hearing from official restaurants, food critics, and fellow food bloggers on Twitter. You can create three separate Twitter lists for each of these types of Twitter users, labeling them “Restaurants”, “Critics” and “Bloggers”. You then go through everyone you follow (and even people you don’t follow) and add them to the list they belong in. Before long, you might have dozens of accounts sorted into each list.

In order for you to really cut down on the noise using lists, however, you’ve got to take it one step farther. Lists on Twitter.com aren’t really that powerful – you need to use a Twitter dashboard like HootSuite or TweetDeck to really narrow the conversation using lists.

Using one of these dashboards, you can create separate streams or columns for each Twitter list you follow. Once created, you’ll only see tweets from people in that particular list within each column. This way, you can monitor the new reviews that food critics post on their blogs or new deals from local restaurants without them being lost in the sea of your standard timeline.

Use a filtering service

Another way to cut down on the noise on Twitter is by using a dedicated tweet filtering service. There are several apps out there that will show you only tweets that include a specific hashtag, keyword, or tweets penned by one or more specified authors.

Here are 3 web-based services you can try if you want to filter out irrelevant tweets:

  • TweetChat – TweetChat allows you to filter in only those tweets that contain a specified hashtag, so you can see what people are saying about a single topic in real-time.
  • Proxlet – Proxlet allows you to block apps, mute Twitter users, and filter hashtags to customize your Twitter experience.
  • Twit Cleaner – This web-based app will tell you how many of your followers are sending out “spam-like” tweets, how many are talking too much, and how many are tweeting only unoriginal things so you can decide who to unfollow.
  • There are plenty of other tools out there to help you filter out particular words, users and apps from your Twitter timeline.

Use your judgement when following

This might elicit gasps from some, but it is not proper Twitter etiquette to follow anyone who follows you.

If you’ve been on Twitter for any length of time, you’ve no doubt already noticed that “random” people have started following you. And that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t mean you have to follow back. You should only follow those accounts that genuinely interest you – don’t follow out of some strange form of obligation.

In fact, there are quite a number of Twitter bots and scammers out there who rely on this misplaced etiquette to boost their follower count. They will follow anyone and everyone, and without fail a handful of those users follow them back.

Most of the time, however, if you follow someone back simply out of obligation you will find that their tweets start cluttering your timeline and you quickly get sick of Twitter – when it should be those people you’re sick of. It’s not that they don’t have anything of value to offer, but just that they don’t have anything of value to offer you.

Only follow those you are genuinely interested in, and you’ll automatically reduce the noise in your Twitter timeline.