Twitter: Reducing the Noise

Just a quick tip to reduce some of the noise in your Twitter stream by only showing @ replies of people you follow. I was a little surprised more people didn’t know this was a feature built into Twitter. However after speaking to a couple of people at the Tampa TweetUp who use Twitter professionally and weren’t aware of the setting, I thought it might be worth detailing.

The basic premise is that you only show @replies from people you are following to people you following. This isn’t a per user setting unfortunately, however, it does reduce the noise, especially for those prolific Twitters with a lot of followers they are constantly responding to. 99 times out of 100, the response is of a personal nature or has no context, so its just a distraction and noise.

This setting removes those, and only shows @replies to people whom you both follow.

To change the default setting:

  • from the home page, click settings
  • From settings, click notices
  • for @ replies dropdown, chose Show me @ replies to the people I’m following
  • Save your new setting

Note you can turn off all @replies in this setting as well if you have no interest in messages between two users at all, however, I’ve found that this setting is the best of both worlds, in that at least there’s some context to what a response is about and generally makes sense. No more @so-and-so, LOL!!!

I’ve recently blogged about reducing noise in my online life, and certainly this has helped immensely. There are several people who I follow that have a broad network and use Twitter as a much more social application, but also occasionally link to interesting tidbits that I’ve found useful. If it were not for this feature, I’d long ago stopped following them. Now for there to be a temporary way to mute someone, for instance when they are live Twittering an event you have no interest in…