Are you looking for an easy way to filter out the tweets and junk that you’re not interested in on Twitter.com? Are you tired of junk tweets or those irrelevant to you clogging up your timeline? The majority of Twitter users are. One of the worst things about Twitter is the simple fact that you can’t control the types of tweets that you see.
Sure you’ll find some users tweeting about one specific topic and you can easily unfollow them, but what about those that tweet about a variety of topics? You may be interested in some of the topics they’re tweeting about, but the other topics just don’t interest you.
Luckily, there’s a very simple solution to this and it’s called tweet filtering. Many third-party Twitter apps and tools have a native feature for filtering tweets, but what if you’re using Twitter.com? Well there’s a few options for this. In 2011, I wrote about Slipstream, as service that lets you hide the tweets that you don’t want to see on Twitter.com.
While Slipstream is still going strong, I want to introduce another tool that’s very similar; it’s called Larry Filter. Larry Filter is a browser extension that is available for both Firefox and Chrome that can filter out words any hashtags from any page on Twitter.com. For this review, I’m using the Chrome version.
Once the extension is installed, you’ll see a new button on your browser toolbar – with the Twitter logo.
Clicking on this button will bring up the Larry Filter window, which is nice because this means you don’t have to be on Twitter.com to use it; you can filter words and hashtags on Twitter while browsing any Web page, since it’s all done from the browser icon.
The Larry Filter window is pretty self-explanatory. When you want to hide tweets containing a specific word, phrase, or hashtag, just enter it and add it to your filter list. Since Larry Filter works anywhere on Twitter, you can quickly perform a Twitter search using your keyword or hashtag to make sure it works.
As you can see in the screenshot above, opacity has been added to the tweets containing the word “Obama.” If you change your mind about a word or hashtag and want those tweets to reappear on Twitter, you can easily remove it from the list as well.
There are two options for tweets containing words on your filter list: their opacity can be reduced to 75% or the tweets can be totally hidden. You can choose the option that you’d like to use from the Larry Filter window – below the filter list.
If you choose to add opacity you will still see the tweets (slightly), and you can mouse over a tweet to view it without opacity. However, if you choose to complete hide the tweets, there’s no way to make them reappear; you won’t see them at all.
In a nutshell, filtering tweets with Larry Filter is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
In comparison to Slipstream, Larry Filter is definitely easier to use and quicker to set up. However, Larry Filter doesn’t offer nearly as much flexibility as Slipstream. For instance, with Slipstream you can hide tweets from a specific user, or choose to hide words or hashtags from just the home timeline.
Choosing between Larry Filter, Slipstream, or even another tool really depends on the features that you’re looking for. If it’s easy-of-use and simplicity that you want, I say Larry Filter all the way!
Do you use a special tool to filter out words and/or hashtags on Twitter? If so, what are you using?
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+.