twitter for journalists

Twitter clients

The best way to interact with Facebook is through Facebook.com. The same cannot be said of Twitter! Because Twitter has maintained an open API, dozens of software developers have created their own interfaces onto the service in the form of desktop software, external web sites, or applications written in Adobe Air or Microsoft Silverlight. There are dozens of things you can do with these third-party clients that you can't do with the Twitter web site. For example:

  • Work with multiple Twitter accounts simultaneously
  • View multiple streams of Twitter information simultaneously
  • Schedule tweets for posting when you're away
  • Add photos to tweets
  • Faster/smoother/more keyboardable performance
  • Tracking and analytics
  • Better URL shortening
  • Integration with other social networks

Everyone has their favorite Twitter client - see the KDMC blog post In Search of the Perfect Twitter Client for more on this. But virtually anyone who spends a lot of time on Twitter will soon adopt one to use in place of the Twitter web site.

It's not important which client you choose - the important thing is to be able to use social networks effectively, so try a few and use what you like. For KDMC training purposes, we use Hootsuite because it includes certain features of interest to journalists (such as scheduled posting).

Hootsuite1
Hootsuite is a multi-column, multi-network "kitchen sink" client preferred by some journalists.

However, some users feel that multi-column clients like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck create on-screen clutter which affects readability and usability. This author much prefers the uncluttered, highly keyboardable, super-fast official native Mac client. Your mileage may vary.

Official Client1
For a more streamlined, faster, more keyboardable, uncluttered reading experience, try the official Twitter client for Mac (available in the Mac app store).

Need more options? Do a Google search for twitter clients to get a taste for the huge range of options out there. But note that the field is actually going to narrow soon, as Twitter have controversially recommended that third-party developers not get into this business (ostensibly because they want more control over the user experience). And they've been on a purchasing spree: The native client for Mac was formerly known as Tweetie - Twitter purchased it and enhanced it. They also purchased one of the top pro apps Tweetdeck, and we can expect to see it revamped and improved by Twitter before long.