Approving new Twitter followers from an iPhone


I protected my tweets on Twitter.

When you protect your tweets, you have to approve any new follower request.

This is easy if you use a desktop or laptop browser. But if you use a Twitter client application, or a mobile browser on Android or iPhone, you can’t approve new followers. In fact, you won’t even know about them. You’ll see new follower requests only if you view Twitter with a desktop browser. (I’m crawling slightly out on a limb here. I’ve tried a few iPhone apps, and none have let me approve follower requests. I can’t find references to Android apps that let you do this, either.)

This irks me.

All mobile web sites should have a “full site” utility link on the home page, if not on every page. Twitter doesn’t do this. You get only the mobile site, and it doesn’t include the follower-approval page.

How does a road warrior access the full site on a mobile phone? The snap answer is, “Use a browser that spoofs the HTTP User-Agent field.”

This isn’t so easy. I tried a couple of iPhone browsers with User-Agent spoofing (Mercury Web Browser Lite, Opera Mini web browser), and Twitter’s mobile site still came up. I didn’t hook up a sniffer, but the obvious guess is that some part of the User-Agent header (maybe a platform id?) wasn’t being spoofed. It tipped off Twitter that I was on an iPhone, so Twitter returned the mobile site.

The solution!

I finally tried Secret Browser. The ad-free mode ($1.99) has User-Agent spoofing, so I ponied up the bucks. Success!! I set the User-Agent to Mozilla Firefox 8.0, and up comes Twitter’s full web site. With a little dragging and zooming, I can get at the “new follower requests” button and approval page.

If you know of another iPhone browser (or better yet, a free iPhone browser) that lets you access Twitter’s full site, please let me know in the comments!

14 comments
  1. Although it’s not a slick solution, can you go to https://twitter.com/settings/notifications and turn on “Email me when [X] I’m followed by someone new”? If I’m right, I think the notification email you get allows you to approve the request by clicking a like.

    • John said:

      No good. I get an “approve or deny” email, but clicking the button within it switches me to the Twitter’s mobile site in Safari. Which provides no way to approve or even view the request! #FAIL

  2. JeffMc said:

    When I go to twitter.com/home, on mobile safari, it takes me to the full site. If i go to twitter.com/mobile, it takes me to the mobile site.
    Just tried it on two different iPhones

    • John said:

      That doesn’t work for me. Going to twitter.com/home or http://www.twitter.com/home on mobile Safari redirects to the mobile site.

    • Matt said:

      Nope… Still goes to mobile site.. That’s a mighty special (2) iPhones you’ve got.. ;)

  3. Have you tried the Journey browser for iPhone? I keep it around for its user agent spoofing ability, and when on my iPad I use the excellent Terra.

    Anyway, both those apps can effectively useragent spoof.

    Also, twitter is stupid for not letting you opt-out of the feature-incomplete mobile site. Also, any site who redirects an HTTP request for a particular function (say, approve follower, or, read a certain message) to any page on their mobile site that doesn’t have the same functionality, is STUPID.

  4. David said:

    Hey guys, nice post. I was having the same problem and then I found a free app for iphone that lets you do the user agent switch. The app’s name is “KissMyAgent” its not a super very good app but it lets you do what you need: approve your new follower request and its FREE!!

    This is an image of the app running the full web site of twitter:

    http://db.tt/OEMbdNUv

    Greetings to All !!

    • Lcs said:

      This worked for me. Gives option to flick between web browser and mobile browser too. Did the job thanks!!!

    • Treewishes said:

      Worked for me — thanks!!

  5. For iPad, just use the Dolphin browser. Free app and you might love the “gestures” feature. :)

  6. Jo said:

    I used safari mobile app and was still able to check my follower requests…I have an iPhone 4s…Follower Requests is between Direct Messages and Drafts…

  7. I was having that issue on my twitter app, however I just went to the mobile site in safari and under “me” I was able to request “followed requests” and there were two waiting for me.

  8. Anya said:

    Google Chrome works too. just click the side button and press “desktop site”.

  9. Izzah said:

    Dolphin browser is what I use to accept follow requests it is still on mobile sites but if you click on ‘Me’ a box saying follower requests should appear near the follows and favourites box. If you don’t have any requests it won’t appear

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