How to Add Twitter to Your Safari Sidebar

Stay up to date with social media by using Shared Links in Safari

Safari Sidebar With Twitter screenshot

With Mac OS X Lion (10.7), Apple began integrating social media services into its operating system, making it easier for you to use services from other Apple apps. In OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), Apple added a Shared Links sidebar to Safari in which you can see tweets and links from those you follow on Twitter. The Shared Links Safari sidebar isn't a full-fledged Twitter client—you still need to use the Twitter website or a Twitter client to create posts—but for monitoring or retweeting tweets, the Shared Links sidebar is convenient. We show you how to access Twitter tweets in Safari on Mac.

Instructions in this article apply to Safari in macOS Sierra (10.12), OS X Yosemite (10.10), OS X Mavericks (10.9), and OS X Mountain Lion (10.8). Apple discontinued the Shared Links feature in Safari on macOS High Sierra (10.13).

Set Up the Shared Links Sidebar

In Safari 6.1 in OS X Lion, Apple changed the way bookmarks and reading lists work in Safari. By default, the Bookmark and Reading List icons appear at the top of the Safari sidebar, giving you one-click access to a selection of useful links. Before you can access the Shared Links sidebar, however, you must configure it in System Preferences.

For the Safari sidebar to work with your Twitter feeds, you must add your Twitter account to the Internet Accounts list. To set up the Shared Links sidebar, complete the following steps:

  1. Open System Preferences by selecting the System Preferences icon in the Dock or selecting System Preferences from the Apple menu.

  2. In System Preferences, select Internet Accounts.

    System Preferences in macOS

    The Internet Accounts preferences window lists the internet accounts you've already set up on your Mac (such as your iCloud account) on the left. On the right it lists the internet account types that the operating system supports, such as Microsoft Exchange and LinkedIn.

    Internet Accounts preferences in macOS

    Apple updates the internet account type list with each macOS update. So, what you see may change over time.

  3. From the list on the right, select Twitter.

  4. In the window that appears, type your Twitter user name and password, and then select Next.

    An explanation of what happens when you allow OS X to sign you in to your Twitter account appears:

    • You can tweet and post photos and links to Twitter.
    • Links from your Twitter timeline appear in Safari.
    • Apps can work with your Twitter account (with your permission).

    You can disable Contacts syncing and prevent specific apps on your Mac from accessing your Twitter account.

  5. Select Sign In to enable Twitter access from Safari.

    Your Twitter account is now configured to allow OS X/macOS to use the service.

  6. Close System Preferences.

Use the Shared Links Sidebar

With Twitter set up as an internet account, you can use the Shared Links feature in Safari. To do so, complete the following steps:

  1. Open Safari.

  2. Select the Show sidebar icon.

    The Show sidebar icon in Safari

    At the top of the sidebar, three tabs appear: Bookmarks, Reading List, and Shared Links.

  3. In the sidebar, select the Shared Links tab (the @ symbol).

    The Shared Links tab in Safari

    The Shared Links selection list fills with tweets from your Twitter feed.

    The first time you open the Shared Links selection list, it can take a moment for Safari to pull and display the tweets.

  4. To display the content of a shared link in a tweet, select the tweet in the Shared Links selection list.

    Safari Sidebar with Twitter
  5. To retweet a tweet in the Shared Links selection list, Control+select the tweet, and then select Retweet.

  6. To go to Twitter and view a Twitter user's public account information, Control+select that user's tweet, and then select Show on twitter.com.

    Retweet from Safari sidebar