How to Use Twitter Favorites as Inputs and Outputs

For a such simple feature, twitter favorites can be a little confusing.  Marking a tweet as a favorite is simple.  The confusing part is figuring out the reason for marking a tweet as a favorite and what to do with your favorites.

An easy way to think about this is to view them as bookmarks that you can use as inputs and outputs.

Inputs (bookmarks)

Use favorites as a way to bookmark tweets that you may need later (for – blog posts, conversations, learning, research).  Here are some of the ways that I use favorites as inputs:

Read later – when I see a post that I’d like to read and I am using my phone (I use Tweetie), I mark the post as a favorite.  Then, I read the post later when I’m at my computer (I don’t read many posts from my phone).

Follow up – if I see a conversation that I’d like to contribute to but don’t have the time or information at that moment, I mark as a favorite and return later.

Short term recall – posts that I want to reference in the near future (1-2 weeks), I mark as a favorite.  This is one of the methods I use for collecting my Friday’s Fives.

Rare – if you don’t think you’ll use the favorite feature much, then try using it to just save the greatest tweets that you read so that you can find them easily.

Outputs (sharing)

Use favorites as a way to share tweets that you find interesting with others.  Here are some of the ways that you can use favorites as outputs:

Input Your Favorites into Google Reader (and delicous)

Import Twitter Favorites into Facebook

Mari Smith provides several creative ways to use favorites, such as:

  • Create a widget of your favorites for your blog using  Faves Widget
  • Make an eBook out of your favorites using tweetbook

What About You?

  • Do you find favorites useful?  Why/why not?
  • What other ways are you using favorites?
  • How do you think of favorites?
  • Favorious

    Hi Dennis. Very interesting post and one of the best descriptions of how Twitter favorites are used we have seen. You might like a service we just launched called Favorious ( and is solely based on Twitter favorites.

    It aggregates the favorites and enables you to search them, find the most popular ones and explore them in various ways. You can see what individual users have been favoring (which can also be done on as you explained) but also which of their/your tweets have been favorited (not available on

    For example, your most popular (favorited) tweets are here:

    Another useful way to use favorites is (if you follow many people) use the Favorious Timeline on our website. This will give you the tweets from the people you follow, but only those tweets that have been favorited. It's a quick and easy way to make sure you don't miss the really useful links/tweets when you haven't got the time to read everything in yous stream.

    The Favorious Team

  • Dennis Callahan

    Thanks for the kind words and link to your tool. This seems like a useful tool for making the most out of your twitter favorites. I'll experiment with favorious.

  • guest

    i’ve been having issues with Favorious for the past 2 weeks. Unable to tag any favorites. still quirky!