I’m a simple person – all I want from Twitter is to see the latest posts from the people I follow, in reverse chronological order, so I can scroll until I stop seeing new tweets. And then I just want to close the application.
Unfortunately, this seems to be too much to ask for. Twitter continues to add more and more, both to the timeline itself and to the sidebar. The result is a platform that used to be simple, turned into a bloated mess.
So I decided to find a way to bring back the old Twitter.
Turn off the algorithmic timeline
In your quest to bring back the old Twitter, the first and most important thing you need to do is turn off the algorithm.
A few days ago, Twitter would show you all the latest tweets from the people you follow, in the order in which they were posted. That changed a few years ago and now the default is to show you an algorithmically selected home screen. Commitment, or how many times people have seen, liked, or interacted with a tweet in some way, is what determines what you see. Most of the time, these tweets are the ones that upset most people at any given time, making your story feel more angry than it should.
[Related: Let’s catch up on all the buzziest Twitter news]
Fortunately, there is a simple solution. Click or tap glitter icon at the top of your timeline – click or tap in the pop-up that appears Instead, check out the latest tweets.
Congratulations – you have turned off the algorithmic timeline. This setting should remain the same, but keep in mind that you may need to change it again on your other devices.
The right sidebar of Twitter includes the infamous current topics on the platform. These usually include politicians or celebrities who say horrible things (click to see people paying attention to them), the name of an older celebrity (click on it to see people asking if the person has died), and some random hashtag (click on it to see the chaotic side of the internet at its best).
But if you don’t want to see any of this, you can install Simplified Twitter. This browser extension works in Chrome, Edge, Safari and Firefox and removes sidebars from Twitter, making this …
Now your focus is exactly where it needs to be – Kirby eats a cat. Enjoy.
Use an alternate Twitter client
Twitter’s default experience is constantly changing, sometimes in the most annoying ways possible. But this does not apply to third-party customers, the best of whom give you access to a cleaner version of Twitter.
TweetDeck is not a third-party customer as it is owned by Twitter, but focuses more on actual tweets than Twitter. Download it to add columns for lists or searches and generally just enjoy a better version of Twitter.
Tweets is a Windows, macOS, and Chrome app that gives you a cleaner user interface than TweetDeck and more advanced features, such as the ability to download videos or customize notifications.
[Related: 3 Twitter alternatives, in case you’re looking]
Tweetz is a lightweight Windows client that shows you your tweets and stays away. That’s it – this is the tweet.
Tweetbot is the best combination of elegance and power I’ve found for Mac and iOS. You can view your timeline, mentions, lists and messages in a single column interface. I especially like the keyboard shortcuts in the macOS version, which I constantly use to share tweets with friends.
Phoenix 2 is a widely respected alternative to the official Android Twitter app with a very clean user interface. It also adds support for watching YouTube and Instagram posts in your timeline, something the official Twitter client doesn’t offer.
Keep in mind that these recommendations are not the only ones you will find on the market – a quick search and you will see that there are many more things to explore. Moreover, none of these third-party customers is necessarily better than the other. Try one and see what you like. All of these apps will make it much easier to focus on what matters – scrolling through tweets, while ignoring all the things that make Twitter so unnecessarily noisy.