I like Twitter. It is a great place to follow current events and stay updated with news from around the world. More often than not, Twitter updates are faster than the news channels. That speaks a lot about the usability of the platform as a source to consume and share breaking news and information.
What I don’t like is using the Twitter web client in a browser. Let’s face it. It’s not that impressive and lacks numerous functions than the ones found in the third-party apps available in the market.
While Twitter seems to be ignoring its presence on Windows platform entirely, there are a few open source Twitter clients available to help you out. Especially, so that you do not miss Elon Musk’s latest tirade. Let’s take a look at them, and I shall tell you what they have to offer.
Tweetz is probably the lightest Twitter client on the list sitting at just under 1MB. It is remarkable how much it can do in such a little package. When you launch it for the first time, you will be asked to authorize the software via the Twitter web client. After you log in, a temporary PIN will be generated that you need to use to log in to the desktop client.
With tiny installation size comes a cozy interface. It looks like it was built for a mobile platform. You will have to drag it from the corners to expand it. Once you have done so, it is not all that bad. Tweetz is a good app for those who want to install it on their portable version of Windows in a live USB flash drive.
Tweetz offers a minimalist design with limited features to get the job done. You can't view your follower count and other sections here. You can check your messages, compose a message or a tweet, access feeds, and perform a search. This program doesn't provide support for multiple accounts or subscribing to the hashtags.
TweetDuck is available to download for free from GitHub. The file is around 40MB and will take only a few moments to install. There is also a portable version available if you want. It's a powerful desktop client that is easy to learn and use.
One of the best features is the ability to log in to multiple Twitter accounts. For those who use two user accounts, this app will bring some level of sanity and balance between the accounts.
Want to follow a particular topic? TweetDuck allows you to create customized searches with keywords or hashtags to help follow events and topics from around the world.
See the little ‘+’ icon in the sidebar? You can use it to add more columns like customized search/hashtag queries, new user accounts and so on.
TweekDuck will help you be more productive and manage more info in the same window. Compare it to the traditional layout of the official Twitter web client, and you will never use it again. Guaranteed.
TweetDuck requires Windows 7 or higher to work. Yes, it does look like TweetDeck.
TweetDeckr was originally built to replace the popular TweetDeck desktop client which was acquired by Twitter in 2011. In case you are wondering, you can still access the web app. It works like a charm but you need to keep a browser tab open at all times.
TweetDeckr has solved this problem by integrating all the features, including the beautiful and highly functional UI, in a desktop client. There are columns for feeds, DMs, home, and trending topics. But, you can add more columns by clicking on the ‘+’ sign for hashtags or search phrases. You can also add multiple accounts in this app.
Even TweetDeckr looks a lot like TweetDeck which is not wrong. Where TweetDeckr differs is the file size with 169MB compared to TweetDuck which is much lighter at 40MB.
It is a matter of personal choice really. You can use any and both work pretty much the same way.
The reason why there are so few open source Twitter clients is not surprising. Twitter has been making it increasingly difficult for developers to build them using its API. In fact, according to a report by The Verge, two changes were made to the API in August.
The first one has disallowed automatic refresh which means you will have to manually refresh the interface every time you want to know what's happening in the world. Not a deal breaker for most people but still something to consider.
Note: You will have to reload or refresh the web client or the mobile app to function properly.
The second one is push notification, the nature of which seems to be unknown at the moment. Verge reports that some types of push notifications are going to be delayed. This can be annoying for many users who prefer tracking live updates about significant events.
While third-party Twitter clients will continue to work, it seems that they are going to be a little restricted. Maybe, this is why developers aren't so keen on developing more open source Twitter clients for Windows. For now, we will have to settle with the current lot. Some of them are pretty good actually, so enjoy them while they last!
Next up: Want to learn more about Twitter? We have created a list of 9 amazing but hidden Twitter features that you should know about. Click on the link below to check them out.
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