Home > Monitoring > Twhirl vs. TweetDeck – choosing Twitter desktop clients

Twhirl vs. TweetDeck – choosing Twitter desktop clients

**Update October 6th, 2009 – A newer and up to date version of this blog post:  Seesmic vs. TweetDeck – choosing your Twitter desktop client, revisited

I’ve been using Twhirl for few month now and I decided giving another Twitter desktop client application a chance. I picked TweetDeck and now I have them both running side by side on my laptop – lots of interruptions (but not for long).

For the Twitter users who did not choose yet a Twitter client application here is my report. By the way I can’t see myself using the Twitter web application. When I’m using Twitter I need it here and now:)

I will only describe the differences, feature-wise, between the two applications. You can assume the rest to be the same.

Features that are in TweetDeck and not in Twhirl:

  • Trending topics – TweetDeck is using TwitScoop for that. I think that this is a great feature that can help following Twitter rapidly changing agenda in near real-time
  • Integration with 12 seconds – not a deal breaker for me
  • Multiple views – All tweets, Replies and Direct messages, TwitScoop in the same window – this is true if you maximize the screen – I have few more application running on my computer so this does not work for me. I was not a fan of the sliding sub windows also.
  • Grouping – it took me some time to understand how it works and the value of this feature. Maybe “Groups” is misnomer and it should be called TweetView or View. This feature allows you to create a new sub window (I think that tabs should work better in this case) watching tweets from only subset of the people that you follow on Twitter. I liked this feature but the window real-estate management should be fixed.
  • Mark as read – this sounds like a good idea yet Twitter is too fast for me to start chasing tweets marking them as read. Twhirl has mark all as read – I don’t use it either.
  • Search – This is not just user search but a full search engine like Twitter Search (aka Summize) so it is really cool. TweetDeck also kept monitoring the search term as long as the search result window is open – like RSS feed. I have the same complain here: if there is no room for the search result window it will be shoved all the way to the right and be hidden until you scroll for it . I first thought that the search did not work.
  • Timeframe – you can control the timeframe up to 48 hours
TweetDeck Twhirl

Features that are in Twhirl and not in TweetDeck

  • Multiple accounts – a window per each – this is a deal breaker for me I need a client for both my personal account @kerendg and my other @BlogMon account (for a small mashup application that I wrote).
  • FriendFeed client – I can get my FriendFeed updates using Twhirl – this is a deal breaker
  • Twhirl support also Seesmic, Identi.ca, and Laconi.ca – I have a Sessmic account but I’m not so much of a vloger.
  • Friends/followers view – you can see the list of all your friends and followers with some of their profile details
  • Window organization – it is amazing how much functionality and information is condensed in such a small window’s area. It is not all out there like in TweetDeck but is is very close and does not take a lot of space on my desktop.
  • Favorite – I did not find the favorite view on TweetDeck it is available on Twhirl. I don’t use it much but I think that others do. Maybe we will see someday a Twitter public favorites section, keeping good tweets for the long run shared by multiple twitter users. Twittelicius?
  • Elaborate configurations – Twhirl offers setting multiple preferences for the client window behavior and visual effects. It provides multiple configurations around notifications and the API usage.

Performance – both applications perform well getting tweets to my desktop and notifying me about the message arrival and type (tweet, reply or direct message). It did feel like Twhirl was more responsive to my clicks than TweeDeck.

I liked the capability seeing the Trending Topics and to able searching right there using TweetDeck. I also think that creating different views has value (e.g. one for the people I usually interact with and one for the rest). Yet, till I can run multiple Twitter account I’m still a Twhirl fan. I also recommend TweetDeck rethinking their windows layout. Maybe tabs inside multiple sub windows.

I hope that you’ll find this information useful choosing your Twitter desktop client.

Categories: Monitoring
  1. October 28, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    This is a very timely post for me, Keren, as I’ve been wondering whether I should be using one of these programs (or any others that might be out there).

    I’m trying to gauge the pros and cons of both and whether I would benefit from using anything like this. Perhaps a trial is in order. 🙂

  2. Keren Dagan
    October 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm


    Thanks for your comment. If you only have one Twitter account I would suggest trying TweetDeck it has better social media “listening” mechanisms. I just hope that they will rework the current windows layout schema.
    If you have FriendFeed account – then go Twhirl.


  3. October 28, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    very nice write up.

    I have been looking into tweetdeck and like what they offer.

    Thanks again

  4. October 28, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    I tried Tweetdeck for a while and while it does have its pros and cons, I did like the format and the autoupdating. I was also looking into the using the groups feature. However, what I also found out is that it is a huge bandwidth hog. Which may not be a big deal if you don’t have any bandwidth limits with your internet services. I suspect it is the type of application that uses your computer as part server to be able to keep up. Maybe I’ll have to give twhirl a whirl.


  5. Keren Dagan
    October 28, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    @B2WE – thanks for stopping by leaving a comment. I think that TweetDeck is a valid option too.

    @Kimberly – thank you for sharing this information. I’m using Twhirl and I did not feel that it was taking away bandwidth yet I’m using the amazing Version FiOS at home.
    I certainly recommend giving Twhirl a whirl:)


  6. Leezl
    October 29, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Before you decide between the 2, I think you should check out feedalizr – http://www.feedalizr.com. There might just be a third choice out there you haven’t considered.

  7. Keren Dagan
    October 29, 2008 at 10:00 am

    @Leezl – thanks for your comment and suggestion. I think that the answer is somewhere between the two or maybe the three. I’ll take a look at feedalize too.

  8. November 30, 2008 at 5:29 am

    top, top post – THANKS! i was thinking of changing from thwirl… but i think i’ll stick with it now.

  9. December 17, 2008 at 11:00 am

    actually – i changed my mind : ) TweetDeck rules if you want to build a large following but filter out and organise different people into different categories or groups. I can create multiple groups for multiple purposes, and scanning them becomes more logical and streamlined. That’s why I’m liking it more than Thwirl : )

  10. February 11, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Very, very, very helpful!!!!


  11. February 11, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Hi Andrea,
    Thank you. I’m happy that you find this post useful.

  12. February 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    I just started using twhirl last nite and this is a timely post

  13. Sam
    February 18, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Thankyou this was very helpful. I’m going to check them out now.

  14. May 8, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Great Article! Thanks for shareing.

  1. October 29, 2008 at 7:42 am
  2. February 1, 2009 at 6:38 pm
  3. February 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm
  4. October 6, 2009 at 10:17 am
  5. May 25, 2010 at 8:13 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: