Essays on Technology and Culture

Getting the Little Voices Experience with Tweetbot

I love Little Voices to get a peaceful Twitter experience. I don’t love that I can only get it on my iPhone. I check Twitter on all my devices, and going from the quiet feed of Little Voices to the chaos of my standard feed is counter-productive. If only there was a way to get at least some of the Little Voices experience on my other devices…

Oh, wait. There is: Tweetbot. Specifically, Tweetbot’s mute filters.

Tweetbot’s mute filters are insanely powerful, and can mute keywords, clients, and even with regular expressions. I set up three filters to approximate the Little Voices experience in Tweetbot. Here they are:


This regular expression mutes all tweets that start with an @-reply. A lot of the people I follow also follow each other, which is fine, but I don’t need to see everyone’s conversations in my timeline. If someone wants to @-reply me, though, I still see it in Tweetbot’s replies tab, though.


This one just blocks links. I’m using Nuzzel to see what links are being shared in my timeline. Nuzzel isn’t perfect, but it helps me to separate the social aspect of Twitter from the news gathering aspect.

My last mute filter blocks quoted tweets. I like the Quoted Tweet feature to add context to links, but it’s increasingly just snark and other noise. Hiding them feels much calmer and relaxing when I check the feed in Tweetbot. It also hides images and video posted through Twitter, which is most. I might add additional filters to hide other images, but I think the link filter above should cover that.

The only thing I can’t do with Mute Filters that Little Voices does is hide retweets. That has to be done on an account-by-account basis. Fortunately, in Tweetbot you can easily turn off retweets by long tapping on a user’s profile picture in your timeline and hitting “Disable Retweets.” I’m not going to disable retweets from everyone, anyway, RTs are a great way to puncture my filter bubble. I’ll just turn them off from people who don’t really add much to my timeline.

With just a couple of simple filters, I’ve made my Twitter experience much nicer. Plus, since Tweetbot mute filters sync between devices, I get the same, peaceful experience across every device I use to read Twitter. For any of you who feel overwhelmed by their social media feeds, consider throwing down for Tweetbot, and taking control with filtering. You might want to keep links in, or media, or whatever brings you joy. Don’t just take the firehose, or let an algorithm decide what you should and should not see.