Over the past few months, Twitter has become very noisy and sometimes flat-out annoying. You log in to check on friends and know what’s happening, but your timeline is filled with tweets from people you don’t follow. That’s not all; you see ads below every tweet on your TL, and they show up in threads now. But there’s a better way: pay $8 for Twitter Blue. That’s what daddy Elon wants, but unfortunately, I don’t follow him!
This article is a quick guide on how I improved my Twitter experience without subscribing to Twitter Blue. Some of the steps below might be a bit hacky, so feel free to skip this guide if you’re not technically inclined (and probably go pay for Twitter Blue 😂).
To the nerdy of you, let’s get started!
On The Web (Desktop Browsers)
I spent the past few weeks looking for the best browser extensions to improve the experience of Twitter Web and found these good ones:
- uBlock Origin
- Tweak New Twitter
- Twitter Demetricator
This is the absolute best extension period! Ads powers the internet (Twitter included), and they can get really annoying. This extension removes all ads on every freaking website, including video ads on YouTube.
Since I started using this extension, I haven’t seen a single ad (or promoted tweet) on Twitter. Even if you stop reading this guide here, I’d like you to try this ad blocker. You’ll thank yourself later.
Tweak New Twitter
This extension removes algorithmic content from Twitter, hides the news and trends pane, and gives you control over which shared tweets appear on your timeline. It removes all tweets from people you don’t follow, cleans up your timeline, and creates a separate tab to see retweets if you need to.
Since I started using this extension, I’ve been able to keep in touch with people I actually follow, and I’m no longer bombarded with algorithmic recommended tweets.
How does Twitter keep you hooked? Metrics. The number of likes, retweets, comments, video views, you name it! They know the human brain goes crazy when it sees a lot of numbers, so they want to show you all the numbers they can on every tweet and via notifications so that they can keep you coming back.
Twitter Demetricator hides all the metrics on Twitter. Follower, like, and retweet counts all disappear. The result lets you try out Twitter without the numbers, to see what happens when you can no longer judge yourself or others in metric terms.
On Mobile (Android/iOS)
Getting Twitter to play nicely on mobile is a bit difficult because you can’t use extensions like on the web. Or can you? The truth is you can. Twitter has an excellent PWA that is identical to its native app. You could simply install the PWA on mobile, and it shows up like a native app on your home screen and in your app drawer.
But being able to use the browser extensions we previously talked about would be the icing on the cake. Well, that too is possible on mobile. All you need is a mobile browser that supports desktop extensions. I found these mobile browsers with desktop extension support:
I use this setup on my mobile, and it's way better than using third-party Twitter clients. This setup is so good that I uninstalled the crappy native Twitter app and didn’t look back.
Here’s a peek at my mobile setup, using the browser extensions and Twitter PWA, all running on Kiwi on Android:
Notice there are no promoted tweets or ads, and I can see tweets from people I follow and retweets separately. All metrics are also hidden.
So this is the best way I found to improve my experience on Twitter without paying for Twitter Blue. Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this helpful.
If you found other useful methods, please share them below for the benefit of everyone.
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