Filter Replies is a smart bot that helps Twitter users to find the origin of trending hashtags and maximise Twitter’s advanced search feature.
Victor Ndu, a freelance software developer, developed Filter Replies. Ndu said a tweet from @NCDCgov, the Twitter handle of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, inspired him to create the smart bot.
We take our responsibility of updating Nigerians using @Twitter and other platforms very seriously— NCDC (@NCDCgov) May 18, 2020
We appeal to individuals to avoid spamming our daily tweets. This affects our ability to respond quickly to valid questions and concerns#TakeResponsibility
"When I saw the tweet, I just wanted to provide a solution that could help the account handler filter replies by showing only relevant tweets and hide other irrelevant tweets with words like 'follow', 'following', and 'ifb'", Ndu said.
"The entire development process of the bot took about a month. And during this period I hired the services of a product manager, Mary Afolabi".
Harrison Obiefule, a digital communications strategist, had also expressed his displeasure with trend detractors. "We need to do something about you idiots that hijack trends", Obiefule said. "A topic is trending, but I can’t make sense of it because some cretins are using it to promote their business or (un)funny videos".
Uncle @asemota, please talk to your friends at Twitter.— Harri Obi ™ (@Harri_Obi) June 25, 2020
In a bid to build a solution for the NCDC handler, Victor said, "I was able to learn about Twitter API and develop Filter Replies".
He said the solution that will serve the NCDC handler will be available in the web and mobile version of Filter Replies. "We've started work on it already and it should be ready within the next one to two months", Ndu said.
How to use Filter Replies
There are many smart bots on Twitter. Notably, Quoted Replies, Lykdat App, and bots for downloading videos. Last year November, the creator of Quoted Replies, had a chance to meet Twitter executives. During the meeting, Twitter’s Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour offered Dara a job. Earlier this year, the bot was incorporated into Twitter as a “retweet with comment” feature.
Ndu revealed that Dara’s work with Quoted Replies also motivated him to develop Filter Replies. "I’ve been excited by what the @QuotedReplies bot does, and the value it delivers", Ndu said. "I was impressed when I discovered that it was built by a Nigerian".
Like most of the smart bots on Twitter, Filter Replies can be triggered via direct message or a tweet.
To trigger me, send a tweet mentioning me with specific keywords and I'll send you a link back in seconds.— Filter Replies (@FilterReplies) June 30, 2020
According to Filter Replies guide, the smart bot can be used to filter replies against "tweet spamming", trace the origin of a trend, search for old tweets and tweets within a specific time frame.
Future plan for Filter Replies
The long term plan, Ndu said, is to build a useful product that will be used by many people.
"Filter Replies will properly use the Twitter API to implement more features", Ndu said. "This is just version one. Soon, version 2 will be rolled out, which will include a web and mobile application with very cool features".
But "for now, I just want to get many people to use this cool bot", Ndu said.Victor Ndu is a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri. He studied computer science.
"We don't plan on monetizing version 2, although there will be provision to receive donations", Ndu said. "Once we've been able to deliver an actual solution with version 2, we can work on more advanced features to improve user's experience with a version 3. The idea of monetizing will come in a version 3".
Speaking on what motivates him daily, Ndu said, "I see programming as art. And I wake up everyday aiming to make art by building solutions".