Desktop Twitter Programs Revealed
November 20, 2010 06:00 AM Desktop Twitter clients offer some advantages over browser-based options for the more than 175 million registered Twitter users navigating the tens of millions of daily Tweets. Desktop clients free user from the limited range of controls and UT metaphors found in the browser, and there's less chance of being bitten by a web-based exploit. Moreover, third-party browser-based clients, such as HootSuite and Slipstre.am, hint at different ways of interacting with Twitter. It's no wonder that third-party applications have emerged as a significant means of accessing Twitter, with almost 15% of unique users coming through one of the leading clients. Based upon ease of use, the number of services supporting, interfaces to additional services such as URL shortening and filter management, here are five Twitter clients worth a look.
The web service HootSuite gives you a single online dashboard through which you can manage not just Twitter but also a spate of other common social networks. The basic free version is ad-supported, with a bunch of minor limitations on the services (e.g., you can only add up to five social networks). But, for most people looking to add a modicum of control over multiple accounts, the basic version will do. To set up HootSuite with Twitter, you must give it permission to connect to your account as a native Twitter application, something TweetDeck does as well. The layout is also vaguely similar to TweetDeck: a multi-column screen, with each feed in its own column. A tab selector near the top lets you switch between your own accounts or a page of featured tweets. However, there's no auto-shortening of URLs when typing; you must paste URLs into a subpanel and click to shrink them.
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