In search of the perfect Facebook and Twitter client

I use Twitter and Facebook a lot. Probably more than 99.9999% of people in the world. I am in search of the perfect client that will help me use Facebook and, particularly, Twitter (which I use a lot more than Facebook because that is the best place to network with other technology professionals).

I am still looking. The perfect client does not exist.

First, I use my iPhone (and now my Droid) for Twitter a LOT. My wife, @maryamie, uses Facebook on her iPhone all the time.

So, I must have the best possible iPhone client.

This week? That’s Tweetie 2.0 for an app and Dabr for a Web page (Dabr supports lists, which none of the iPhone apps do yet). Yes, I’ve tried all the others and while Simply Tweet is better in places I like the UI of Tweetie better and Tweetie has never crashed, while TweetDeck crashes on me and my friends all the time. Echofon? I don’t like the UI (I know others do, which is why you should check them out for yourself). Others? All bugged me for some reason. Tweetie is very good and all I am waiting for now is support for Twitter’s new features, like Lists, RT’s, and geolocation.

On the Droid I use Twidroid, which does support lists (an advantage of being a developer on the Android platform is that you can release software two to six weeks faster than on the iPhone because there isn’t a centralized approval process you need to go through.

Second, I use both Windows 7 (which rocks a lot more than most Mac fans will admit) and the latest Macintoshes. So, I need a client that runs on desktops, laptops, and netbooks.

The thing is I’ve been trying to live my life completely in the cloud. Why? Because that way if my computer dies, or gets stolen (that happens to laptops) all I need is a new computer with a web browser and I’m back in business.

I also sometimes sneak onto my wife’s computer. It’s nice to just sign onto a web site and get access with my password. If I set up a desktop app for Maryam, then I have to log out and ruin her experience when I want to use that same app, too. So, I tend to stick with web sites.

Plus, I do a LOT of speaking. It’s really great to just jump up on stage, open a web browser, hit a website and have all your info up there.

That’s why I love Seesmic‘s Web version so much. Oh, I can hear all the geeks yelling “and it doesn’t take much memory, the way, say, Adobe AIR does.” Absolutely! Google Chrome running on Windows 7 takes less memory on my computer (even with Seesmic Web loaded) than either Seesmic’s AIR version or Seesmic’s Silverlight version (released into private beta tonight).

But there’s a few important things missing from Seesmic’s Web addition:

1. I can’t log into multiple Twitter accounts (I have three now, and will be adding more soon).
2. I can’t log into Facebook. Seesmic’s AIR client lets me do that (I can even write to either my private Facebook profile or my public Facebook page).

I’ve been playing with Seesmic’s Silverlight version tonight on Windows 7. It looks a tad bit nicer than the web version (I suspect Microsoft helped Seesmic build this version, because that’s what the evangelism teams do at Microsoft — I remember a team when I worked at Microsoft who helped MySpace port over to Windows, for instance) but that’s pretty superficial and while the Silverlight version looks better I couldn’t see any features that didn’t exist in the AIR version but there was plenty that was missing. It doesn’t yet support Facebook, for instance (that’s promised to come soon). Anyway, it did support lists and it did support multiple Twitter accounts, so as soon as it gets Facebook compatibility it’ll be the one I leave on my Windows 7 machine.

So, there is no perfect client. At least not for me.

I do have to admit that I like the rapid innovation we’re seeing in the Twitter client business. A few days ago I talked with Seesmic’s team about the rapid innovation that we’re seeing and how tough it is to keep up.

How about for you? Have you found a perfect Twitter client yet? Which one?

Comments

  1. The spontaneous backlash against TweetDeck this evening on Twitter is rather surprising to me. Seesmic is gorgeous yes, but I guess these days functionality is secondary to the appearance of an app.

    I’ll stick with TweetDeck where I can keep abreast with goings-on through TwitScoop, have a dark background so my second monitor doesn’t light up the whole room, and can compose my update at the bottom of the screen.

  2. I have also have been on an ongoing journey to find the perfect Twitter client. Especially for the desktop (Mac in my case). On the iPhone, I use Twittelator Pro for the most part, it has pretty much the most features and options than any other iPhone app with the exception of push notifications that I know SimplyTweet does, but it lacks features that Twittelor Pro has though that I find beneficial.

    It's the desktop client search that has been the most frustrating. Having first made Twhirl my client of choice originally, I know switch back and forth between Tweetie for the Mac and Seesmic Desktop. Unfortunately, Tweetie for the Mac still lacks basic features I expect from a client, but it still works well for me most of the time as a native Mac OS app. I am holding out hope for Tweetie 2 for the Mac. When we may see it though is anyone's guess.

  3. Brizzly is a great client. But it doesn't scale for large Twitter consumers, in my opinion. Love its features and love the team even more. It's great for multi-users, but not huge users.

  4. Tweetie 2 for my iPhone, but am waiting for an update with the new twitter features. I'm really into lists, but not keen on the twitter native RT as it doesn't allow for commentary of any sort which, imo makes for better discussion. I have TweetDeck running on my desktop at all times on my second monitor with multiple Twitter & Facebook accounts, but it has it's buggy flaws. Perhaps one day I'll upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 and try out the new Seesmic app. It looks sexy.

  5. Why do you think that is Louis? Is it the lack of columns? I've been
    using lists instead of columns when using Brizzly but agree that's
    it's just not as efficient.

    On Wednesday, November 18, 2009, Disqus

  6. I've started looking as well, mainly for a nice Facebook desktop client, as I already have trowl and growl for windows on my desktop, and brizzly on the web.

  7. I've started looking as well, mainly for a nice Facebook desktop client, as I already have trowl and growl for windows on my desktop, and brizzly on the web.

  8. I agree with Robert that there is no perfect client yet. Never really got into Tweetdeck b/c of crashes and lack of persistence, lack of sophisticated searches on the columns (other than a “Search” column).

    So I've been using Twitter Web UI + Greasemonkey scripts, as well as FriendFeed for persistence/archiving/search.

    I've been pretty impressed with Seesmic Web since they added List support, you have to love the auto-load at the bottom, plus the ability to quickly build your own lists from someones else's. Big gaping omissions is the lack of filtering on the columns, which would be ridiculously useful for Lists (e.g. on Robert's Tech-News-Brands).

    Persistence of tweets would also be nice to do for Seesmic Web, heck I'd pay for it if necessary, now that FriendFeed's future status is under a cloud. Maybe the Web version could use Google Gears?!

    BTW, not big on the NewRT feature in Twitter, so it will be interesting to see how the clients will implement that. And if they keep an option for the old school RT around (or if that would get them blacklisted by Twitter…).

  9. I agree with Robert that there is no perfect client yet. Never really got into Tweetdeck b/c of crashes and lack of persistence, lack of sophisticated searches on the columns (other than a “Search” column).

    So I've been using Twitter Web UI + Greasemonkey scripts, as well as FriendFeed for persistence/archiving/search.

    I've been pretty impressed with Seesmic Web since they added List support, you have to love the auto-load at the bottom, plus the ability to quickly build your own lists from someones else's. Big gaping omissions is the lack of filtering on the columns, which would be ridiculously useful for Lists (e.g. on Robert's Tech-News-Brands).

    Persistence of tweets would also be nice to do for Seesmic Web, heck I'd pay for it if necessary, now that FriendFeed's future status is under a cloud. Maybe the Web version could use Google Gears?!

    BTW, not big on the NewRT feature in Twitter, so it will be interesting to see how the clients will implement that. And if they keep an option for the old school RT around (or if that would get them blacklisted by Twitter…).

  10. Very simply, for the desktop, PeopleBrowsr has many powerful features, very similar-looking to TweetDeck, and does Facebook, as well as more services than I can count, and it all runs in your browser (unless you want to run their AIR app). my.peoplebrowsr.com

  11. I've been going back and forth with Twitterific and Tweetdeck for the iPhone. I've been thinking of trying Tweetie 2 but don't really see the advantages of it compared to the others. On my desktop I've been using Tweetdeck and it's been great! I also use Hootsuite some as well.

  12. Gravity Twitter App is just perfect to me. It runs on Symbian Phones and i cant fault it in anyway whatsoever and ive tried everything from Brizzly online (which is great but not perfect), Tweetie on my Iphone (great looking but lacks features) and Tweetdeck on my desktop (somewhat cumbersome). Gravity has everything i desire for my daily tweeting and there are frequent updates improving it and adding new functionality all the time. I just wish Gravity was available in more formats than just Symbian OS….but if you have a symbian phone i absolutly highly recommend it!

  13. I’ve been looking for a while, and I don’t use twitter nearly as much as you do, I agree, the perfect client doesn’t exist, so I’ve decided to write it my self

  14. No like you I haven't found the perfect twitter client. I do miss the list capability on the iphone (tweetdeck is too buggy). I am currently trying the latest version of the seesmic desktop app release canidate, but it has a lot of problems so I spend a lot of time on the web version.

  15. Well definitely Tweetie is the best mobile twitter client in my opnion. Tweetdeck comes right behind but it sucks when you clink on a URL and it exits the app and open safari for example, Tweetie on the other hand does everything inside the app, its navigation and feature pack is the best out there. Once no mobile client supports Twitter lists yet, i have no comments on that.
    For the desktop i've spent most of my time with Tweetdeck, i've tried Seesmic also, and i loved its ability to put the updates from all accounts in a single column, but i think it is heavier compared with Tweetdeck.
    I only need to point out that i'm really looking forward twitter lists supports for desktop clients, please guys …

  16. I hadn't tried Sobees in a while — wow! Superb list support, clean interface, resizable columns, Facebook integration, etc. It may become my primary client in a matter of minutes. I've been a huge Tweetdeck fan and I'm playing with the new Seesmic client a lot, but this new version of Sobees Lite is looking pretty sweet.
    http://www.sobees.com/

  17. A tip – Facebook works perfectly on Seesmic desktop in conbination with the service TweetPo.st Once set up, the only thing I do is adding a hashtag #fb and twitter messages appear also in facebook channel – that includes facebook page. But even that could be automated – but i wanted to keep the possibility to selectively push TW messages to facebook channels.

  18. A tip – Facebook works perfectly on Seesmic desktop in conbination with the service TweetPo.st Once set up, the only thing I do is adding a hashtag #fb and twitter messages appear also in facebook channel – that includes facebook page. But even that could be automated – but i wanted to keep the possibility to selectively push TW messages to facebook channels.

  19. Could you scoot over and allow me to sit down? I also share the pain and frustration on this matter. Brizzly is my first choice but it can get annoying when you forget to click a profile to open in a new tab and when you hit back, your timeline has been refreshed. So you miss your reading place. TweetDeck, I don't like that you can't scroll from side to side using the mouse wheel and you can't resize columns. Also, what's with the still not offering font size options? I know this will never happen as I'm pretty sure they're busy building their latest (beta I might add) version to accommodate Lists.

    On the iPhone I use SimplyTweet – love their fast response team as I'm always able to get support when I need it. Or when it gives me a headache, they jump in on Twitter to offer me a feel-better pill. I have Tweetie 1.0 and hated when they tried to charge me again after using the old version for just a couple of weeks. I know, I know. It's still cheap. I'll get over it and end up trying it again.

    Seesmic's AIR is no good. Clunky and memory DRANO. I'll give the web version another try considering what I've read on this post.

    But hey Robert, when you find it, make sure you let us know!

  20. BTW, Scoble, you might not know, but you seem to have a “Twitter Spam Virus” or something.

    Sometime I get some short URL from you that point to some questionable sites. If it is intentional, I hope you are getting a high CPC ;)

  21. Your website uses wide text pages with no word wrap. You might allow “printer friendly” which would word wrap or just use a narrow column like most other news sites.

  22. The perfect twitter client for me is a combination of 4 apps. That's what works: Seesmic Desktop as the main client, to manage multiple accounts (personal, business, english, french, etc). Tweetie 2 on the iPhone as a general purpose twitter client “on the go”. Reportage for quick updates on people I really care about and don't want to miss, a great iPhone complement to Tweetie 2. And finally NetNewsWire synched with Google Reader. That's Where I follow hundreds of Twitter RSS streams for some users favorites (like yours!), high volume accounts and many searches…

    What I am really missing is a great “people explorer” app for Twitter, that could be a dedicated app in itself or a feature of an existing app.