2008-05-03

How To See Your Friends Real Name Instead Of Their User Name In Twitter [Web Apps]





I have always wondered why Twitter uses the alias (the Twitter user name) instead of a person's real name when one post a tweet.

The Twitter settings page gives the following explanation for the text field "Name".

Name - Enter your real name, so people you know can recognize you.
Username - Your URL: http://twitter.com/USERNAME


OK Twitter, I accept that people I know, need my real name to recognize me. Just one question. Why the hell are you not using the Name field that I entered, anywhere else? As you yourself have said, I tend to identify people easily by a name like Thomas Anderson rather than something like tander08foru, which always leaves me scratching my head wondering who this guy was.

So, untill someone from Twitter sees this post and make us all happy, here is a little hack to get things going for the while.

Twitter uses the real name of a person as the "alt" field in his profile picture. What it essentially means, is that if you block the images, you will see the real name of the person in text.

In Firefox, go to Tools -> Options -> Content. Uncheck the "Load Images Automatically" checkbox. I have tried adding an exception to block amazonaws.com (from where twitter serves the profile pics) alone. But somehow this prevents the alt tag to appear all together. If someone knows a better way, please do tell.

In Internet Explorer, go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Advanced. Check the Accessibility -> "Always expand ALT text for images" field and uncheck the Multimedia -> Show pictures field.

That's it. Now go to twitter.com/home and see the difference.