Gwibber – Twitter, Facebook, Pownce, Flickr etc. Client [Linux]

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Gwibber iconMicro-blogging is all the rage nowadays, though if you don’t know what it is you might want to check out Twitter Explained for a little tutorial. The default way to handle micro-blogging and updates is to keep refreshing a page in your browser over and over, but since that can be a bit of a pain, having a desktop client to poll for updates is very handy.

But then let’s face it, Twitter‘s not the only micro-blogging platform out there, and it’s definitely not the only program that lets you have status updates. That’s why having a Twitter-only client doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. I was using Twitux before, but since then I joined a fully open-source micro-blogging platform called Identi.ca. Probably by virtue of being open-source software, it has a large Linux-user population, so I had to join. And Twitux doesn’t work with it. Enter Gwibber.

Gwibber is a status-update client for a lot of services. I’m just using it for Twitter and Identi.ca, but it also works for Digg, Jaiku, Facebook, [NO LONGER WORKS] Pownce, and Flickr. It’s actively developed, and the developer (Ryan Paul of ArsTechnica) seems to be listening to user input, so that’s definitely a plus.

Right now, though, I just really like its flexibility. It uses WebKit for rendering, so it can get pretty fancy. Take a look at the screenshot below. I configured it to use dark blue for Identi.ca updates and light blue for Twitter updates, so they match each site’s theme. You can pick whatever color you want for each, but I thought it was easier to remember this way.

Screenshot of Gwibber

You can also see that where someone replied to me the message is outlined in red. That’s pretty useful. New messages are outlined in light blue to highlight them.

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Perhaps my favourite feature is the duplicate detection. See that plus sign on my message? Here’s what happens when you click it:

Screenshot of nested duplicate messages in Gwibber

It detected that I tweeted and dented the same thing and displayed the status update only once. This happens when I post from within Gwibber or when one of my friends that uses both does so. It just helps tidy up the interface a bit, I think. And then of course there’s the requisite “Reply” button in the bottom right corner of whichever notice has focus.

Screenshot of a Gwibber update with visible apply button

If you’d like to try it out:

Please note, though, that Gwibber is still in Alpha. I haven’t noticed any issues with it, but being alpha software does mean there are big changes happening fairly often. I think duplicate detection was added last week. I’m with everyone that’s requesting a “Replies” tab. Ryan says he’ll make it a priority.

Windows and Mac users? You’re out of luck. This application is only supported for Linux, but if you get it to compile and run on other Unix-based OSes, let me know.

[rating=4]

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Comments (33)
  • Devis

    no I mean normal links, they are opened in the client, no browser. I found the back button right clicking.

    About FB in the “Errors” window I messages like:
    Protocol: “facebook”
    Message: “retrieve messages” and in red “RunTimeError: Session key not set. Make sue auth.getSession has been called.” As I said I am unable to “Authorise Gwibber” because clicking on “Request Login Code” nothing happens.

    I think the two things are related, perhaps a page should open in the browser.

    The system is a fresh linux installation, maybe I have to tweak something ?

  • Devis

    (running on linux Mint 7 KDE, based on kubuntu 9.04)
    It’s great, I like the interface and themes, but there’s something I don’t understand:
    1) when I click on a link why does it open the page in the client windos ? There’s no “back” button, and no way to make it open into a browser
    2) the Facebook “Request Login Code” button doesn’t do anything, what should happen ?

    • Mackenzie

      Do you mean the hashtags and group tags and such? Those are supposed to open in a tab in Gwibber because what’s the point of a desktop app if you’re always going to the browser? Normal links should open in browser though.

  • ffoucaud

    Thank you for this post.

    ffoucaud

  • Guillermo

    Thanks for your tips. I couldn’t make Gwibber works with Facebook too

  • tregeagle

    I have used pidgin to post and follow microblog posts. It is not as cool as gwibber though. I suggest you all upgrade to linux ;)

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.