Updating your Twitter stream should be the simplest task possible. It should be a constant flow from brain to finger tips. In addition, viewing other’s tweets, replying to and interacting with tweets should be just as easy. Many of us Twitter users choose to use the web interface when at our desktop or laptop. Others, however, choose to use a desktop client to update our Twitter stream. This is where the selection process begins.
Why use a Twitter client?
Desktop applications, in contrast to the web interface, may allow for a more streamlined approach to your Twitter stream. TweetDeck, for example, showcases your tweets in 3 columns; your overall feed, your @ replies and your direct messages. This is an enhancement on your Twitter usage. Others, such as Twitterfox, allow for updating your Twitter stream from within your Firefox web browser, increasing your productivity and allowing you to do multiple tasks from within your single browser window… no matter how many tabs you have open.
…but can it retweet?
Features are so important when looking for a Twitter desktop client. Being able to favourite, retweet, link to, etc are all features that Twitter users use on a regular basis and that can enhance your Twitter experience. Being able to retweet a message that you find of interest with a single click, instead of having to copy the text, paste it into a box and type “Retweet @USERNAME” can be a great feature. Lounge and TweetDeck both take care of this feature really well, while also providing additional features (several clients include iTunes integration as well).
Does it have a cool icon?
OK, so this is more for OS X users. The icon of an application can play a large role on how often you use the application. Admitedly, I’m not a major fan of TweetDeck’s OS X icon. NatsuLion, on the other hand, while being less robust of a Twitter client, has an awesome icon (a little cartoon lion face… it even cries when you have a connection error). Although it’s not as robust of an application, the icon coupled with it’s existing functionality, makes it a worthwhile choice for a desktop Twitter client for OS X.
So what’s the bottom line?
Thus far, my favourite Twitter client, aside from TweetDeck, is Lounge. It’s currently in it’s beta stages and is showing great promise. It has an awesome integrated Leopard interface, all the functionality mentioned above (and more) and a cool enough icon for it to sit on my dock nicely and not look out of place or detract from the “OS X beauty”. Best to try a few desktop clients out and see what works best for you. After all, Twitter is unique to each user, as is the Twitter experience.
Which is your favourite Twitter client?