Twitter Clients – Web Apps or Desktops Apps? Which is Better?

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cloud_vs_desktopTwitter is a beast, in my opinion, that needs to be tamed!  If you are to follow any amount of people on Twitter and actually keep up with them, you’ll need to use some sort of Twitter client in order to organize the chatter and get anything out of it all.

In the past, I have written articles on several different web apps including Tweetfunnel and HootSuite.  Notice that both of those are web apps, meaning that you don’t install them on your computer but run them directly from the Internet from your web browser.  There is another whole category of Twitter clients that you install on your PC, including Tweetdeck, Twhirl and Seesmic.

Therein lies the debate!  Which type of Twitter client do you prefer — the web app or the desktop app?  Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each and see where we land!

The web app Twitter client

twitter clients

There are many reasons someone may choose to use a web app as their Twitter client of choice.  In fact, Mahendra wrote a great article about 4 good web based alternatives to some of the popular desktop Twitter apps.  In his post, he listed several good reasons someone might choose to go web-based, including:

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  1. Running another application takes up more system resources so a web-based app could help to conserve system resources.
  2. It can be easier to not have to switch between another program and your browser windows.
  3. No download is necessary and version control is taken care of for you.
  4. Perhaps you will find more options in the web-based alternatives.

Using web-based applications in general have certain advantages such as having access on any Internet connected computer with a web browser, not worrying about installing and updating, and hard drive space is no longer an issue.  It almost seems everything is moving toward the “cloud” doesn’t it?

twitter clients

Currently my web app of choice is still HootSuite because it’s easy to use, easy to track stats, and the Hootlet bookmarklet makes sharing links easy.  However, there are some reasons why I find myself using a desktop app also.

The desktop app Twitter client

seesmic twitter client

Desktop apps do have their benefits.  One of most used Twitter clients is Tweetdeck and that is a desktop app.  So, why do people still choose to use desktop apps in light of the benefits of web apps?

  1. Refreshing some of the web-based clients can become cumbersome.
  2. Many desktop clients make being notified of tweets quite simple.
  3. It’s easy having the program running in the tray ready for access.
  4. Sometimes issues can be resolved by the user by reopening or reinstalling a program whereas if the webapp goes down, you’re out of luck.

Tweetdeck twitter client

Aside from the typical power apps such as Seesmic and Tweetdeck, there are the browser plugins such as Echofon and Chromed Bird.

chromed bird twitter client

I prefer to use this type of app because I get notifications directly in my browser window.

Cast Your Vote

OK, now it’s time for YOU to weigh in on this topic. What did I miss? What is your preference: desktop-based OR web-based Twitter applications?  Which application do you use most often?

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