Colleen Pence

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Five Hot Twitter Clients for the Mac

If you’re visting from The San Antonio Media / PR / Business Tweetup (#samprb), welcome! Today I’m talking about Twitter clients for the Mac.

There are lots of fantastic Twitter clients available for Mac. I’m covering the five I’ve spent the most time with: Tweetie, Twhirl, TweetDeck, Nambu, and Seesmic Desktop.

Over the last few months I’ve become a big Tweetie fan, first on the iPhone and then Tweetie for Mac when it was released in April. I tried TweetDeck but even with all of its bells and whistles it doesn’t support multiple accounts—a must-have feature for me. Recently I’d heard lots of praise for Seesmic Desktop (developed by the company who purchased Twhirl in April 2008) and, after using it for a while now, I may have to switch alliances from Tweetie–it’s just that GOOD. Seesmic definitely gives TweetDeck a run for its money (or freeware as the case may be) at least until TweetDeck starts supporting multiple accounts. Nambu’s another new kid on the Mac block offering lots of attractive features (multiple accounts, FriendFeed integration, threaded conversations) for rabid Twitter users.

Each of these five Twitter clients has its pros and cons. Seesmic handles multiple accounts beautifully,  integrates Facebook and will integrate FriendFeed, and appears to be fast and (so far) not buggy. Twhirl isn’t as fully featured as Seesmic but it offers support for multiple accounts and it’s been around longer so it’s probably more stable. TweetDeck does a great job making it easy to add people to groups, includes Facebook integration too, and it does a great job covering trending topics via TwitScoop. Tweetie doesn’t have columns, groups or trending topics but it allows for multiple accounts, it’s fast and user-friendly and it’s unparalleled among Twitter clients for the iPhone (vs. Twitterfon, Twittelator, and Nambu). Nambu has a tree-like structure for viewing/accessing multiple accounts and it seems like it would work well, but I had lots of trouble with it (although, to be fair, it might have been my internet connection at the time that gave me trouble, so I’ll definitely check out Nambu again).

Comparing features of Five Twitter clients for Mac:

Here’s a comprehensive chart comparing the five clients.

The Quick ‘n’ Dirty on Five Twitter clients for Mac

Tweetie for Mac – It’s Big Bird to Tweetie’s smaller and original iPhone client and now the foundation for the next version of Tweetie for iPhone.
Deets / Get it: http://www.atebits.com/tweetie-mac

Twhirl – Twhirl was purchased by Seesmic in April 2008. Seesmic says it will continue development but since they’ve released Seesmic Desktop my guess is that Twhirl will be phased out at some point.
Deets / Get it: http://twhirl.org

Tweetdeck – The most popular Twitter desktop client (across Macs and PCs), Tweetdeck offers powerful features but gets dinged repeatedly with complaints that it doesn’t handle multiple accounts (yet) and for the fact that it’s a memory hog.
Deets / Get it: http://www.tweetdeck.com/beta 

Nambu – Often faster than Tweetdeck and comparable in nearly every way with it, Nambu’s a compelling new Twitter client that allows use of multiple accounts. It’s climbing the chart among Twitter clients. But I had a hard time getting it going. I also didn’t find it to be very user friendly and found it to be SLOW to load tweets (and it only holds up to 200 unread tweets). I plan to give Nambu another try soon.
Deets / Get it: http://nambu.com 

Seesmic Desktop – The Tweetdeck Killer, Seesmic Desktop seems to be gaining ground on the other major Twitter clients for Mac at #13 (as of the writing of this post). The key, currently, is its ability to handle multiple Twitter accounts. Once Tweetdeck rolls that feature out, all bets are off.
Deets / Get it: http://desktop.seesmic.com

A few web Twitter clients that handle multiple accounts and allow you to schedule tweets:

HootSuite 

TweetLater

TwitterHawk 

More Twitter client resources:

Micro-blogging: 26 Twitter Desktop Clients for Mac

The most up-to-date info on which Twitter clients are popular

Mashable’s Head to Head: TweetDeck vs. Seesmic Desktop

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