If you don’t want to download a desktop app to use as your Twitter client, there are a few interesting browser-based apps and extensions that can do a great job of offering you all the key features needed to interact with your friends and followers. Persona, a free Chrome app, is not only a great Twitter client, but also offers users a slick interface to keep up with their Facebook accounts as well as RSS feeds.
After authorizing your Twitter and Facebook accounts, you can dive right in and start following the latest posts on Twitter and Facebook. All posts are displayed in the same way regardless of the social network. At the bottom of the page, a horizontal grid of the latest updates are displayed.
When it comes to your Twitter feed, the default stream features the latest tweets in your home feed. Your Facebook feed will display the latest updates from both your friends and pages that you like.
While the feed doesn’t auto-refresh, it does notify you when there are new tweets or Facebook updates, with a small red symbol over the social network.
You can scroll back through updates one by one, or scroll back to the latest update with the click of one button.
Persona really comes to life when you start to scroll through updates, and offers users an incredibly slick way of scrolling through posts, bringing something of a magazine feel to the experience. When you click on a tweet with a link or video, the content will open up embedded in the app. The feed of updates at the bottom of the screen will fade away.
You can fully interact with the users you already follow. You can favourite tweets, retweet them, and reply to tweets in your timeline. When clicking on a tweet that is part of a conversation, Person will display all the preceding tweets. If a tweet doesn’t have any links or content associated with it, it will simply be displayed. You can also reply to individual tweets and see how many times they’ve been retweeted.
Using Persona as a Twitter client does have its drawbacks. There’s no way to search for tweets or users, and you can’t view an individual user’s profile, or follow other users, and hashtags aren’t clickable. That said, with the way that Persona is meant to be used, most of these features are actually unnecessary. Because of the magazine-like features that Persona provides, you can make your Twitter (or Facebook) experience more about consuming content. Clickable hashtags, however, do seem like an odd omission particularly if Persona has focused the experience on consuming content.
While the focus does appear to be on consuming content, you can also use Persona to send out new updates on both Facebook and Twitter. The menu at the top of the page changes according to which social network you’re browsing. With Twitter, it offers you the following options: reply, retweet, favourite, and open original link. It also provides arrow keys to quickly scroll from one tweet to the next.
With Facebook, it offers you the following options: comment, like, share, and open original link, as well as the same arrow keys provided when browsing Twitter.
Persona is a great tool for those of you who are looking for a quick way to make quick work through their latest updates on Facebook or Twitter. It also provides an alternative to those of you still looking for more options on how to view Instagram embedded in tweets, since Instagram pulled Twitter support.
What’s your favourite browser-based Twitter client? Let us know in the comments.
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