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5 Twitter Features Journalists Should Use

In a previous blog, we covered how journalists can use Twitter data. In this blog, we’re looking into 5 Twitter features journalists should use.

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If you’re a journalist who actively uses Twitter to share news stories, and features, connect with the public, source your stories and find media footage, you may already be using some of the features we mention below.

We will explain why it’s a good idea for journalists to learn how to use each feature and how we, at twtData, can help you.

Here are the Twitter features we’ll discuss:

Twitter Lists

With so much noise on social media, it’s impossible to keep up with every other person you follow.

On Twitter, you could end up scrolling for hours before you stumble upon something important, or the opposite! You could be bombarded with too much essential info and not take in any of it.

If you use Twitter Lists, you’ll know how much easier it is to have a clean feed and keep up with developments in specific things or with specific Twitter users. By keeping things organised, Twitter Lists can help you keep an active presence on Twitter without having to go through your entire feed.

What is a Twitter List?

A Twitter List is a custom-made feed that displays tweets from specific accounts you’ve chosen. For example, you can make a list of your colleagues’ Twitter accounts to show them support whenever they tweet by liking or retweeting.

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How to make a Twitter List?

  • To make a Twitter List on your desktop, just click on “Lists” on the left of the screen first.
  • Then click on the tiny list icon on the right top of the screen.
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  • Name your list and enter a description if you want to.
  • You can choose to keep your list private if you don’t want anyone seeing or following it (You may prefer to keep some of your lists private, especially if they include your sources).

How to see someone else’s list on Twitter?

  • Go to the person’s profile and click on the three dots on next to the DM button.
  • Click on “View Lists” and you’ll be able to see all of their public lists.

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Media companies also use Twitter Lists to showcase their team of journalists and editors, or big and ongoing stories such as Covid-19.

Making Twitter Lists are also a great way of gaining new followers. If you’re covering a specific subject, you can attract people who are interested in your lists as Twitter will recommend them to people who are following similar lists, for example, cryptocurrencies.

Another good use of Lists is to engage with your top followers and influencers that follow you. That way you can make sure to increase the engagement on your account.

Would you like to keep a copy of your lists or download lists from multiple accounts? Then use our Twitter account backup service or get in touch at sales@twtdata.com.

Twitter Spaces

Twitter launched Spaces in November 2020, sometime after Clubhouse. The rise of audio is reflected in the media industry and audio journalism is reaching an increasing number of people everyday with streaming services.

Twitter Spaces provides a live service for journalists to host live conversations with guests or colleagues. Companies like NPR and CNBC have already started to use Twitter Spaces to engage their audiences, cover stories in-depth, and host weekly shows.

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Anyone can start using Spaces if they have an iOS or Android device. You just need to long-press on the Tweet compose on your Home timeline and then tap the new Spaces icon.

You can find Twitter Spaces to listen on your device by clicking the microphone icon in the middle of your menu bar at the bottom.

Reporters can also use Twitter Spaces to cover news stories on location, meaning they don’t need a satellite truck, or to wait to get back to the newsroom or studio.

You can use twtData to download the data of those joining your Spaces and learn more about your listeners.

Threads and Moments

There was a time when each tweet had a 140 character limit, so journalists needed to number their tweets if they surpassed this limit. Now thanks to Twitter threads, journalists can prevent cluttering their followers’ feeds.

At twtData, we’re working hard to bring you features that help you use Twitter more effectively. Reach out to us at sales@twtdata.com if you need help with downloading tweet threads data.

You can use threads to paint the complete picture about a topic, news, an event, an article, etc. Threads allow you to link multiple tweets consecutively and you can tweet them at once.

Threads are great for explaining things in detail, covering longer news stories or linking related news to a previous tweet about a story, and covering breaking news where you can add each new update as a new tweet.

Threads are also used to promote an ongoing series such as a podcast, radio show, live coverage, a Twitter Space and more.

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Twitter’s Moments works in a similar way, but it organises multimedia as well as tweets from multiple accounts. Twitter Moments acts like a curating tool; gathering important updates, tweets and media about a news story or topic.

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  • To create a moment, click on “More” on the navigation bar and click on “Moments”.
  • Start by choosing a Title, Short Description and a Header (1500 x 500px)
  • Start adding tweets, media, URLs and threads

Twitter Advanced Search

Twitter Advanced Search is useful for journalists in many ways; whether they are searching for old tweets, new sources, footage, location-based witnesses and more.

We covered how journalists can download Twitter Advanced Search data and use it to enrich their news stories in a previous article.

Twitter Advanced Search is great for desk searchers and researchers. It helps journalists and the latter find relevant experts, eyewitnesses, other journalists, hashtags, and photos related to a story.

Twitter Advanced Search lets users search tweets by keyword, hashtag, exact phrase and filter results by user, language, engagement (replies, likes, retweets) and by date. You can even use more advanced filter functions to filter tweets by location, links, a specific URL, verified users and more.

With twtData, you’ll be able to download the below data and more:

  • Protected status
  • Location
  • Verified status
  • Followers count
  • Following count
  • Tweet count
  • Reply count
  • Listed count
  • Geocoordinates
  • Retweet count
  • Like count
  • Tweets with media
  • Sensitive tweets

Twitter Notifications

Twitter Notifications can be set up for emergencies, natural disasters or moments but also to be notified whenever a specific account tweets. This feature is useful for journalists who follow certain politicians closely - for example, during the 2016 elections a journalist covering Trump’s tweets would have needed to use this feature.

To receive notifications when an account you follow Tweets, follow the steps below:

  • Go to the person’s profile page and tap the notification icon
  • Choose between two notification types: All Tweets or Only Tweets with live video

Remember, you have to be following the account to be able to get notified when they tweet.

Journalists get contacted for many reasons, but when you are looking for sources and you ask for the public’s help, make sure to turn on your DM notifications so you get notified when someone contacts you.

Twitter can be used for desk research in many ways, and it can help understand public sentiment about topics journalists are covering. Use it to your advantage by extracting valuable Twitter data.

twtData is used by professionals in media companies such as Bloomberg and Newsflare, get in touch at sales@twtdata.com to learn how we can help you by getting you the data you need.

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