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If you don’t like the layout of the Twitter website, fear not. You can do pretty much everything on Twitter via applications and other clients.
Desktop clients are a convenient and popular way to keep up on Twitter. Most of them even have a version for your smartphone.
My favorite desktop client—well, honestly the only one I’ve used—is TweetDeck. This is one of the most popular clients for a good reason—you can do almost anything Twitter-related on it. Plus it’s free. I was originally drawn to this program because of the simple interface and the groups feature. The groups feature allows you to sort the people you follow into groups. Each group gets its own column; this makes it easy to keep track of everthing. You can also manage Foursquare, Facebook, Myspace, Google Buzz, and LinkedIn from TweetDeck.
This is what TweetDeck looks like on my computer:
Hootsuite is another popular client (although it’s one that I haven’t tried . . . yet). There are two versions of Hootsuite—a free one and a paid one. For the casual user, the free version should be fine. The pro-version ($5.99 USD/ month) would be great for a company or if you want to manage more than five social media accounts. The paid version lets you use Google Analytics as well.
Other clients include twhirl, Twitterific ($14.95), and Seesmic.
For me, TweetDeck worked so well that I didn’t feel the need to try any other clients. Of course, if I find one that better suits my needs or if I get curious, I will try it.
Another way to check your Twitter account without accessing the website is via a web browser extension.
My favorite extension is Echofon. It’s a tiny little icon that sits on the corner of your browser and displays new messages. I always have turn it off when I need to concentrate on something, but it’s nice if you want to read your messages as they appear.
In the past, I’ve used Yoono, which put my email, Facebook, Twitter, and IM accounts in a sidebar on the left hand side of my screen. This worked for a while, but ultimately annoyed me too much (you can hide the sidebar, but I’ve found that other extensions just work better).
TwitterBar lets you type a status update from the address bar on your browser. It’s useful, especially if you share links often, but I uninstalled it because it didn’t do enough for me.
I’ve also tried FriendBar, which streams updates from your Facebook and Twitter accounts. The version I tried was too bulky for me.
There are many more add-ons available here if none of these suit your needs. To be honest, you sometimes have to just play around to find something you like.
Other Web Browsers:
I’ve never actually tried any add-ons for different browsers, but they do exist for Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Opera.
In any browser, I highly suggest that you try this bookmarklet. Just drag and drop it in the correct toolbar. I use it all the time! It makes it very easy to share links.
What Twitter apps, clients, or add-ons do you like? Let me know in the comments below. Also feel free to Tweet me your Twitter questions @amye_, email them to me at email@example.com or ask them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them in future posts.