Twitter just changed the Favorite button to a Heart, and it was as if millions of social media workflows suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. If social media workflows were people.
If you used Twitter’s favorite button as any mix of “read this later,” or “follow this conversation,” or just “this is important to me,” the good news is there are plenty of apps that are much better suited to these tasks. Since the desktop is covered fairly well by browser extensions and drag-and-drop, I’ll focus on iOS.
Now that Twitter’s own iOS app finally joined nearly everyone else in using the system-wide share sheet, it’s just a couple taps to save a tweet or a link in a tweet to the app(s) of your choice and file all this stuff based on your unique needs. Here are a few that I like and use on at least a somewhat regular basis. All offer App Extensions for saving things from other apps.
Instapaper is a great read-later service with a universal app and a really handy Notes feature for highlighting articles and sharing your notes. Its app extension also allows you to file a link right after you save it, saving you a trip to the app. Instapaper is free and has a premium plan with more features.
A competitor to Instapaper, and my preferred read-later app, Pocket is great for saving tweets, links, videos, and just about anything else to view later. It has a great design, some great features for sharing links with friends, and the App Extension allows you to tag items right when you save them. Pocket is free to use, and a premium subscription unlocks some great features like a permanent, searchable library of everything you’ve ever saved. I’m a paid user.
A bookmarking competitor to Pinboard, I recently switched to Raindrop because I think it has a much better design, supports multi-word tags, has a dedicated Inbox for read-later use, and you can selectively share collections of links and even collaborate on them. Its app extension supports tagging so you don’t have to open the app. Raindrop is free and has a paid plan with more features. I’m a paid user.
Pinner for Pinboard
Pinner is a client for Pinboard, a minimalistic bookmarking service. It’s a reigning champ after Delicious fizzled out and has quite a few features, like following fellow users and lots of automated import options (such as: if you share a link on Twitter, Pinboard can automatically save and tag it). Pinboard has no native app, but requires a one-time payment to have an account. Pinner is a paid app and really, really good.
Evernote is a popular app for organizing notes, links, documents, images, and just about anything else you can imagine. It has a good tagging system and apps for just about every platform imaginable. It also offers searchable OCR for things like images and PDFs, which I’ve found handy in a number of situations. Evernote is free to use, with paid plans that offer more features, faster OCR processing, and dedicated support. I’m a paid user.
With iOS 9, Apple seriously upgraded its own Notes app. You have lots of formatting options now, and if you save a link to a note, it gets a rich preview with images and a page title, similar to how they look in a tweet or Facebook post. When saving a link from an app like Twitter, you have the option to create a new note or append to an existing note.
Of course, the App Store is a big place and there is a digital ton of similar apps for saving and organizing tweets, links, and all manner of other content. If these options don’t work for you, I guarantee you can find something that will.