There is a surfeit of Twitter clients out there – applications that you download onto your computer that collect and filter tweets for you. The idea of using a Twitter client is that you can peruse tweets by Twitter accounts that you are following, re-tweet, direct message and reply, and create your own tweet (complete with shortened links to save character space), all with greater efficiency than you can on the twitter.com website. But how on earth do you choose a Twitter client?
Ultimately, your choice depends on your level of comfort with technology, i.e., your techy-ness. Some applications present the knowledgeable Twitter user with lots of shortcuts for managing their twirled (Twitter world), but the more features a client has, the more sophisticated its presentation can be. Here are a few examples of Twitter clients I’ve used (or am using), and their pros and cons. I’ll expand upon this list in the future, and am glad to answer any questions you have.
Hootsuite, for PC and Mac
The first of two on this list with owl-related names, Hootsuite is one of an elite group of applications that are particularly for companies with teams that tackle social media (the other most popular client of this sort is TweetDeck). For a fee, your account can be accessed by multiple team members,, and can include the ability to post to any number of social networks and to multiple accounts on one network. If you’re just one person managing one Twitter account, though, then even the free version might be more extensive than you need. It is so feature-rich that I found it loads more slowly than any other app I’ve used, and my Mac seemed to be getting bogged down when the application was launching. Still, Hootsuite is great for posting to multiple social networking accounts, and allows you to schedule when a tweet or post goes out, which can be invaluable if you want to reach audiences in different time zones.
Syrinx, my go-to Twitter client
It’s not perfect, and it is buggy at times – it can get confused when I go to the log-in window to sign into a different Twitter account – but Syrinx is fast and intuitive. It loads more tweets than I can usually read through, and it loads faster than most Twitter clients I’ve tried. Your lists, mentions, re-tweets and direct messages couldn’t be easier to find – they’re all n one pop-up menu on the main screen. You can search user profiles, and search your followers. If I’m having trouble with another client, I always return to this one, and wouldn’t need to stray if it allowed me to add followers and manage lists more easily, and to shorten URLs. If you’re looking for something really simple, though, check Syrinx out.
Yorufukurou (Night Owl), for Mac
is an application whose name sounds pretty owlish, but is a bit hard to remember if you’re an English-speaker. My friends all seem to agree that this is the client they prefer, as it has the most complete set of features and quick keyboard shortcuts. I also like the fact that it has an edit field wherein you can paste a link to shorten right on the main screen, and lets you easily post images or screen shots. You can quickly toggle between viewing all tweets, tweets by single users, or tweet conversations, which you might find extremely useful.
One drawback to Yorufukurou is the fact that it by default loads only 200 tweets at a time, when I’m used to Syrinx, which loads practically all the tweets I’ve ever seen, and at a greater speed. Be prepared to spend a little time exploring all of the nuances of this application, for though it’s easy enough to get your first tweet out there, it may not be immediately obvious what all the built-in tools do, or where you can find your direct messages and mentions. Still, this application does virtually everything I can imagine, and I think I’ll really grow to love it when I’ve memorized all of its keyboard shortcuts.