When I discovered Twitter, I dismissed it as yet another way for people to waste time and add even more noise to the already cacophonous Web. Since then, I’ve done a one-eighty. Don’t get me wrong: the site’s still a source for meaningless chatter — for example, all of the Justin Bieber-related nonsense, a phenomenon that has even thrown Twitter employees for a loop. However, it’s become well-nigh indispensable for me when it comes to finding worthwhile content as well as quickly disseminating (what I hope is) the same.
But Twitter’s not perfect. It’s unnecessarily bloated as the Twitter team adds new features that it perceives will add value and make their service more engaging. For example, the hovercards that appear when you mouse over a Twitter user’s name, or the “Who to follow” list, which provides you with suggestions of other Twitter users to follow and is, as far as I can tell, pretty much universally hated. (Why does it continue to recommend people after I’ve already indicated that I don’t want to follow them?)
Enter Jacob Bijani’s recently released Naked Twitter, a handy Safari 5 extension that, as the name implies, cleans up your Twitter page by removing the sidebar and disabling hovercards, among other things. I’ve only recently started using it, but I dig how well it cleans up the joint.
It’s only at version 1.0 right now, so it’s pretty straightforward with no configuration options whatsoever. It’d be nice if future versions allowed a certain level of configuration, such as allowing the sidebar to display, but only with specific components (e.g., saved searches, lists). And though I generally dislike them, there are times when hovercards do come in handy.
Naked Twitter is a nice little extension that does one thing and does it well (though there’s room for improvement). It’s a good example of why Safari extensions can be such beautiful little creatures, especially at the site or service-specific level.