Friday, September 25, 2009

A Close Look at 3 Twitter Clients: Nambu, Twhirl and Tweetdeck

As I have become more involved with twitter, I have discovered a need to explore more tools for managing my tweets. I used twitter for months using the web based version, but it got really annoying having to go to the website and refresh all the time as I started following more and more people. That prompted me to explore tweetdeck and twhirl. At that time, I probably was following more people than were following me. I just needed something that allowed me to see quick updates of changes to my twitter feed. I chose twhirl for it's simplicity and small window. At the time, Tweetdeck was way to advanced for my needs.

Now, the opposite is true, I have more followers than I have people I follow. This is true because I can only handle so much data coming across my screen in one day, so I don't feel it is beneficial to follow every person that follows me. Due to this change and an increase in @ replies and direct messages, I felt a need to re-evaluate my choice of a tweet client. @tgwynn kept mentioning Nambu and I notice that everyone is still talking about tweetdeck so I figured I would compare those two with Twhirl. My findings:


  • Boring color scheme

  • the window is more rectangular and takes up more room on my desktop than I would have liked.

  • Everything was very easy to see (home, mentions, direct messages)

  • Buttons are all rollovers with no text-took a minute to figure out how to do a reply, etc.

  • Easy download, just dropped into the dock.

  • I liked how the dock icon gives a number so you know how many tweets you have.

  • I accidentally deleted all my tweets (Really they were just hidden-show all hidden gets them back but I freaked out for a minute)

  • Can't seem to delete a tweet

  • Double click to to reply

  • Puts a little icon in the upper right near your clock for easy access.

  • Made for Mac and has an iPhone app


  • Nice simple layout with one skinny window that doesn't take up a lot of space on your desktop

  • Nice color scheme that is customizable

  • Found out quickly how to do a tweet, reply and direct message

  • Easy to set up accounts

  • Buttons that allow you to see all of your direct messages and @ replies

  • Requires Adobe Air

  • For Mac or PC


  • I was hesitant to try tweetdeck as I felt a little overwhelmed by it the first time. This time it was much easier.

  • Starts out with 3 panes and a large window that takes up most of the desktop (not my preference) but there is a button that allows you to quickly decrease the size to one pane or expand to all panes.

  • The panes are customizable for what you need. You start out with one pane of friends tweets, an @ reply pane and a direct message pane. You can add panes for facebook status, profile information and more.

  • Colors are customizable

  • Easy to find the tweet bar for status updates and @ replies.

  • Has an iPhone App

  • For Mac or PC

All 3 applications have the following features

  • URL shorteners (which are great for quickly making url's a smaller size to fit in the 140 character limit)

  • Ability to add multiple twitter accounts

  • Notification sounds and popups for new tweets

  • Link with some kind of photo/video sharing service to add photos and videos to your tweets
There is one thing missing on all 3 of these and that is a place to make notes about each user. This is something that I have found very useful in Second Life and would love the opportunity to use this type of notetaking for all of my social networking tools.

So, what did I pick? I went with Tweetdeck. I was most impressed by the ease of use in seeing everything I need in one window but also being able to shrink it down to fit on my screen. I still will most likely not suggest tweetdeck to new twitter users (would probably still go with Twhirl) but for those with several followers or followees, Tweetdeck provides an easy way to manage all of the updates.


  1. Thanks for your great analysis of the three twitter apps. I use Tweetdeck for the same reasons as you. I have enjoyed it and even created a main account for syncing all my access points.
    Thanks again for the great post.

  2. Thanks for the post. I enjoy Tweetdeck's layout, columns, search and easy to use features. Nice to have this confirmation especially when I explain my choice to others.