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
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.