I have several Twitter accounts I keep track of on a daily basis, and with the dearth of good multi-user applications for Twitter, I find myself using all sorts of different clients to meet my Twitter needs. As I’ve done this, I’ve found a few favorites. So without any further ado, and no more fanfare, here are my top three Twitter clients!
This app is number one for several reasons, not the least of which is because it’s my favorite. After using Twitteriffic for months, I heard about Tweetdeck and signed up, and for me, Twitter changed completely. Now instead of trying to drink from the firehose of tweets that were shooting into my face through Twitteriffic, I had a way to manage the stream of data coming at me. Since then, I’ve looked at a lot of other clients, including the ones that I mention hereafter (obviously) but to me, while a few clients come close, Tweetdeck is still the gold standard of Twitter applications. Things I like about Tweetdeck:
- Multi-pane setup – This lets me see multiple streams of information at the same time. I can keep track of what my friends are saying, what they’re saying to me, and my direct messages, all without having to click so much as a button. And the best part is that I can reorder them whenever and however I choose. Priceless.
- The ability to add @ replies to multiple people at the same time. Most clients delete whatever was in the tweetbox when you hit reply, meaning if you want to reply to multiple people at the same time, you have to cut and paste, or manually type it in. Sometimes it’s the little things.
- Groups – If you’ve got a subset of people you follow because of the specific kind of tweets they give (for example, web designers who tweet) you can just stick ’em all in a design group so you don’t have to sort through all the other users tweets to find them.
Nambu is a native Mac client (not Adobe Air) so if you’re a Windows user, just skip on down to number three. OK, that said, Nambu is a great piece of software, and not the memory hog that Tweetdeck is. In addition, it has all the functionality of Tweetdeck, and even allows for multiple account management. It’s been a little bit since I last used it, and even now, the only thing I don’t like as much as Tweetdeck is that I think it’s uglier. Lame reason, I know, but hey, aesthetics count for something, right? Here’s a few things I like about Nambu in particular:
- Multiple view options – You can go multi-pane, single pane, and uniquely, you can go with a sort of Mail-style layout with folders for @replies, searches, etc and a viewing pane.
- More than Twitter – You can also set up FriendFeed, Facebook, Identi.ca, and a couple of other services to your panes. Pretty awesome.
- Easier searches – There’s a search box in the top right corner, and as soon as you hit enter on a search, a column appears with the results. Less clicks=happier me.
I don’t remember how I came across DestroyTwitter, but it’s the next closest thing to Tweetdeck. It offers the same multi-pane setup, and gives you a lot of the same functionality. While it struggles with the whole @repy to more than one person at a time thing, and you can’t reorder panes or create more than one search pane, it’s a great app. Here’s a couple of things that DestroyTwitter has that Tweetdeck doesn’t:
- The ability to page through older Tweets – You can go back as far as you want, unlike Tweetdeck, which cuts off at a certain point and won’t go back further.
- Profile Control – You can edit your profile directly through the app; you don’t have to log into Twitter to change your description anymore.
- Twitter API Control – You get finer control over use of the Twitter API, particularly with how often your search results are updated.
Bonus – Tweetgrid
While not necessarily a client in the sense that the other apps I’ve mentioned are, Tweetgrid is still notable for its ability to provide multiple real-time twitter streams, which is indispensable when participating in Twitter events like #GNO or #smbiz.