Saturday, January 31, 2015

Unusual Alerts from Twitter

tl;dr: I made for your (and my) enjoyment.

I wasn't the first to mock up imaginary push notifications from Twitter, and I regret that I don't even remember from whom it was that I stole my first base layer (including the "May 2B" typo)

I got hooked on this idea, though, and did a few over the last year. Some of my favorites:

What started off as a manual generation process eventually ended up with a fairly low-effort Pixelmator template… but then other folks wanted to make them easily too. So I made an online generator and put it at

The thing took about 30 minutes to put together, I guess, including setting up the domain and hosting. The most obvious nice-to-have would be the ability to save and/or tweet the image directly… but that would've taken more time than I had to invest in a toy like this. On a Mac, ⌃⇧⌘3 copies a selection of the screen to the clipboard, and you can paste it right into Twitter for Mac.

For me it's nice having the time fixed at 9:32, as a kind of signature of this thing; it's not intended to be a generator of forensically sound fakes. And even though it's primitive it's been gratifying to see the fun others have had with it. @samir is a master

@CaseyNewton got started recently with a winner
and @jazzychad weighed in recently on my leaving Twitter


bigblind said...

I'd love, and be able to, make this into a savable/sharable image. Is there some way I can help you make this more usable?

Isaac said...

Hey Frederik, thanks for the offer! My hope with this thing was to avoid having a server side and as far as I can tell, without that (even with canvas) it's not possible to generate good images of these things.

If you know otherwise, though, please holler! Or, if you want to make your own version of this (with a server side) based on what I started, please feel free to take the source.

If you do build something, please let me know so I can link to it.