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What do you think of content previews on Twitter? Twitter has really been on the ball when it comes to content previews on their website. For years, you had to click a link in a tweet and go to an external website to see the content behind it. Now, you can preview articles, videos, images and more from their partner websites; this is great since it saves you time and clicks.
However, some people may still be looking for content previews from even more sources, and this is where Parrotfish steps in. In their own words, Parrotfish “extends Twitter previews for everyone else.” It allows you to watch videos, view images, and see rich content from multiple sources. A few of these sources include: Tumblr, Last.fm, ESPN, CNBC, Amazon, ABC News, Posterous, Hulu, Skitch, Picasa, CNN, and Facebook.
One of the best things about Parrotfish is that it gives you article previews, so that you can see what an article is about without clicking the link. With Instapaper support, you can even save articles for later reading – right from the Twitter website.
Parrotfish goes a step further and keeps you safe from phishing attacks and websites containing Malware. With data provided by Google Safe Browsing, Parrotfish will let you know right away if the URL within a tweet is unsafe.
Parrotfish also supports HTML5. This means that you can do things like share video from Dropbox and have them wrapped in the HTML5 video tag, so that they can be viewed right from Twitter. You can also play MP3 files and use built-in controls.
Now that you know all of the great features that Parrotfish offers, let’s find out how to install and use it.
Parrotfish is a browser extension that can be used on Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. For the purpose of this review, I’ll be using Google Chrome. You can download the Chrome extension right from Parrotfish’s website.
Since you can no longer install extensions from external websites (outside the Chrome Web Store) in Google Chrome, you’ll need to locate the file on your computer once downloaded, and then drag it to the extensions page in Chrome to install it.
There are not any options for Parrotfish, it just works right after installation. To see it in action, go to Twitter.com or Mobile.Twitter.com and expand a tweet. You’ll know that the content preview is from Parrotfish because you’ll see “embedly” displayed in the bottom right corner of the preview.
As you go through your Twitter timeline, you’ll see previews for just about every link shared. This alone shows just what a Godsend Parrotfish really is. It also makes Twitter.com more appealing; you’ll actually want to use it from your browser since you’ll be able to see all types of previews.
Content previews with Parrotfish are nicely done and extremely convenient. They allow you to spend more time on Twitter, and less time on other websites viewing the content of those you’re following on Twitter.
Do you use Parrotfish? If so, what are your thoughts on it? If not, do you now plan on trying it out?
Charnita is a full-time freelance writer and blogger with 3+ years of experience, and also the owner of SocialWebTools.info. She's also an early adopter who loves trying out new social media tools along with Web and iOS (iPad) apps. Feel free to connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.