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Four Twitter features you need to know about

Check out these tips to enhance your Twitter experience.

Dan Graziano Associate Editor / How To
Dan Graziano is an associate editor for CNET. His work has appeared on BGR, Fox News, Fox Business, and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn't tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.
Dan Graziano
3 min read

Watch this: Four Twitter features you need to know about

Twitter may seem like an outlet for people to complain, harass others, or post pictures of their food, but there's more to the microblogging service. Twitter can be a great tool for discovering new things, connecting with others, and staying up to date on the latest news.

The company has continued to add new features, and here at CNET we've told you how to get the most out of them. These are some new and old features that you need to know about.

Add flavor to your profile

Twitter recently revamped Web-based profiles with a design that more closely resembles something you would find on your Facebook page. In addition to being able to change your profile picture and header photo, you can now change your theme color and even pin a tweet to your homepage that you want to bring extra attention to.

To pin a tweet, go to your profile page, click on the three dot icon on the tweet you want to highlight, and select "Pin to your profile." The color of your profile can be changed by clicking on the theme color option inside of your profile's edit mode.

Check out CNET's Lance Whitney's article for even more details about Twitter's new look.

Mute annoying users

Whether it's a friend, coworker, or family member, we are sometimes suckered into following people we just don't want to follow on Twitter. As noted by CNET's Jason Cipriani, you can now mute those annoying tweeters without them knowing. From the Web or either the Android or iOS app, navigate over to the tweeters profile, click on the gear icon, and select mute.

Maybe the person isn't a bad tweeter, but they keep retweeting annoying things. For situations like this you can choose to simply disable a person's retweets. What if they are the world's best tweeter and you want to know every time they tweet a new message? If that's the case there is also an option to enable mobile notifications. Both of these options can be found by clicking on the gear icon on a user's profile page.

Muted users can still direct message you, reply to your tweets, retweet you, and even favorite your tweets.

Delete direct messages

Direct messages are private messages that can be sent to a person that you follow and who follows you back. As we've learned from certain politicians and other public figures, direct messages can get you in trouble from time to time. Too bad they didn't know there is actually a way to unsend a private message on Twitter.

After sending a direct message, simply click on the trash can icon next to the message you would like to unsend, or long press and select delete on the mobile app. This will delete the message from both your inbox and the inbox of the person you messaged. It should be noted, however, that if the person has email notifications enabled they will still be able to see the message.

Download your data

Twitter gives users the ability to download their old tweets. That's right, you can download an archive of every single tweet you have ever sent. This can be done by going to the Settings menu and clicking on Request your archive. Twitter will then send you an email with a link to download your data. Unzip the download and click on the index.html file to view an offline history of your entire Twitter life.