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    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    Battle of the Twitterers

    Recently while logging into Twitter to add a friend I noticed a small advertisement for TweetDeck, what I assume is Twitter's in-house desktop interface. Being a long-time user of Twhirl I decided to check out its features and see if it might be worth making the switch.

    Positives:

    • Separation of Tweets, replies, and direct messages into separate columns is a nice improvement over the occasionally confusing one-column view Twhirl uses.

    • Mimics Twhirl's retweet/actions mouseover on friends' icons which is a great idea. I always like it when originators humbly integrate a competitor's superior features/improvements, such as IE's adoption of Firefox-like tabs.

    • The ability to make groups of friends and separate accordingly may be useful for those users with a huge number of friends.

    • You can add your facebook status updates (apparently Twhirl can do this through FriendFeed, but I'm having some trouble setting up my Facebook updates in friendfeed) TweetDeck does allow you to update to Facebook as well.


    Negatives:

    • It's almost too big. With all the numerous columns and the larger size of Tweets, compared to Twhirl, I feel like I need to be using TweetDeck maximized on my external 24" monitor.

    • The close dialog for columns is downright frightening, asking if you really want to "delete" the column, and telling you "this action cannot be undone - choose wisely". All its doing is closing the column and you can reopen it by the corresponding button at the top.

    • Facebook support is great and a good addition considering the current popularity of the service. However I prefer my FriendFeed window in Twhirl which, while certainly less widely adopted, is a much more robust addition.


    In the end I'll stick with Twhirl for now. It's a more compact application, in terms of screen real estate, and I prefer its features. The one thing that could possibly make me switch is the grouping feature on TweetDeck but I currently don't have a glut of friends on Twitter to justify using it.

    Do you have a preference for either program? Or another Twitter desktop interface? Leave a comment and let me know.

    2 comments:

    nicopolitan said...

    twhirl ftw, for sure. and even though i follow lots of people, it doesn't get overbearing because i actually do want to read what a lot of these people are doing.

    yes, even what they're eating.

    Fred said...

    Then later on when they're talking about their awesome lunch you can be all like "I read about that on Twitter," becoming the coolest kid on the block.