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twitter client you don't have to downloadIntegrated pictures, keyboard shortcuts, a decent way to track conversations and a slick new look. That’s what some users of Twitter found recently, and they were really happy. Twitter isn’t sure how long it will take to push these features out to everybody, but if you primarily use Twitter from a client such as Tweetdeck or Gwibber you may have access and not know it.

We at MakeUseOf don’t hide our love for Twitter Gwibber - Twitter, Facebook, Pownce, Flickr etc. Client [Linux] Gwibber - Twitter, Facebook, Pownce, Flickr etc. Client [Linux] Read More . You can find the entire MakeUseOf staff on Twitter, and most of us are pretty active there.

Our articles about Twitter, though, largely revolve around ways to avoid going to the site altogether.


For example, I recently pointed out five Linux Twitter clients you’ve probably never heard of 5 Linux Twitter Clients You Probably Don't Know About 5 Linux Twitter Clients You Probably Don't Know About Read More and Steve recommended you use Seesmic Desktop 2 as your Twitter client 5 Great Reasons To Use Seesmic Desktop 2 As Your Twitter Client 5 Great Reasons To Use Seesmic Desktop 2 As Your Twitter Client Read More . The new Twitter might convince people like us to stop using a client and use Twitter directly. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the new Twitter, as compared to desktop clients.

First Off: Do I Have It?

A lot of people are wondering how to tell if they have access to the new Twitter. Well, you probably don’t; Twitter’s not sure how long it will take to roll out to all users. To find out for sure head over to Twitter.com and look for a message like this:

twitter client you don't have to download

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If you see that, all you need in order to try out the new Twitter is click the yellow button. If you don’t see that I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for a while, but keep reading to see what’s coming up later. Switching back to the old Twitter is as simple as clicking your name in the top-right corner, then clicking “leave preview”.

What’s New?

twitter client

The first thing you’ll notice is that everything is wider. Like before there are two main panels, the left and the right. The left panel does largely what it did before – displaying tweets – and the right panel does largely the same thing as well – displaying information such as who you’re following and what topics are currently trending.

best twitter client

So, at first it looks like this is the same old Twitter, albeit a much wider one. But it’s not. Click on a Tweet and the right panel becomes useful. For example, if there’s a link to a picture, you’ll see the picture:

If the tweet is part of a conversation, you’ll see the rest of the conversation:

best twitter client

You get the idea; the right panel includes information to give the tweet context. Even if there’s no picture, or no conversation, you’ll see information about people mentioned in the tweet. It’s all about giving context to the little piece of information Twitter encourages us all to push out every day, which I think is welcome.

You’ll also notice that your profile has a little room to breathe now, giving more emphasis to your location and bio than the old interface:

best twitter client

Finally, for those of you who resent having use a mouse to browse your tweets, the new interface provides you with a handy supply of keyboard shortcuts. Press “?” and you’ll see a list.

twitter client you don't have to download

Get to know those and you could save a lot of time browsing Twitter (or, perhaps more realistically, waste a lot more time browsing Twitter).

What’s Missing?

If you consider yourself an avid user of TweetDeck or Gwibber, you might notice a few key features are missing here. The biggest problem, for me, is the lack of support for automatic URL shortening. There might be a Firefox or Chrome plugin to solve this problem, I realize, but it would be really nice for such a functionality to be built in.

The other main advantage Twitter clients have over Twitter itself? Integration with other services. I know, I know, Twitter isn’t going to natively support Facebook or LinkedIn messages anytime soon, but to me that’s the entire appeal of a client.

Still, overall I have to say Twitter is now an impressive alternative to any client. I’ll be using it a lot more now than I ever did before.

What about you guys? Do you yet have access to the new Twitter? If so, do you like it? Or did you turn it off almost right away? Sharing in the comments below is an awesome thing to do, and if you have the new Twitter it just might make Mark very jealous.

  1. danny6114
    October 1, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I think I'd like the new Twitter if the Chrome extensions I use on the old one worked on the new, like twitter extender, twitter photo zoom, twitter refresh, and others. I sure hope the boys in the lab get on this soon, so I can use the new version.

  2. Christopher Adams
    September 28, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Not even close. I am not switching to using the Web interface from Hootsuite or Tweetdeck anytime soon. In case I'm mistaken, the new twitter doesn't auto update your stream, it just says, "1,2,3, new tweets etc." It doesn't actually show the new tweet without a click. And there are no easy to read customizable columns. I've played around with the newtwitter a little and after all the hype, I'm not that impressed. There are some nice new features. But how about adding some really useful things, like being able to create more than 20 lists and more than 500 people per list. Information overload is the main problem Twitter will have to deal with in the future. K.I.S.T
    One think I hope twitter fixes before it is released permanently is the ability to see where your follower/followers are from/location i.e. Harford, CT Now you actually have to click on each person to see where they are from. You can't see it at a glance.
    I hope the newtwitter is always the newtwitter and has an off button. I'll stick to my hootsuite. If Tweetdeck could only make the text more easy to read, and hootsuite could make follower/following management and adding removing to lists easier I would be all set. Seesmic is promising to make the ability to clear read tweets, I'll believe it when I see it, and it they do, I'll definitely check them out again.
    The new twitter and Desktop clients still aren't comparable.
    p.s. I know hootsuite really isn't a desktop client but i lump in in there w/ tweetdeck and seesmic :)

  3. Christopher Adams
    September 28, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Not even close. I am not switching to using the Web interface from Hootsuite or Tweetdeck anytime soon. In case I'm mistaken, the new twitter doesn't auto update your stream, it just says, "1,2,3, new tweets etc." It doesn't actually show the new tweet without a click. And there are no easy to read customizable columns. I've played around with the newtwitter a little and after all the hype, I'm not that impressed. There are some nice new features. But how about adding some really useful things, like being able to create more than 20 lists and more than 500 people per list. Information overload is the main problem Twitter will have to deal with in the future. K.I.S.T
    One think I hope twitter fixes before it is released permanently is the ability to see where your follower/followers are from/location i.e. Harford, CT Now you actually have to click on each person to see where they are from. You can't see it at a glance.
    I hope the newtwitter is always the newtwitter and has an off button. I'll stick to my hootsuite. If Tweetdeck could only make the text more easy to read, and hootsuite could make follower/following management and adding removing to lists easier I would be all set. Seesmic is promising to make the ability to clear read tweets, I'll believe it when I see it, and it they do, I'll definitely check them out again.
    The new twitter and Desktop clients still aren't comparable.
    p.s. I know hootsuite really isn't a desktop client but i lump in in there w/ tweetdeck and seesmic :)

  4. Prometeo
    September 26, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    So far the new Twitter is good enough for me. I've been having trobles with Tweetdeck and the new Twitter seems to take over nicely and compensate for that client so I'm sticking with it.

  5. Bluharmony
    September 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Five HUGE problems -- 1. Conversations are now impossible to follow, 2. Can't see who's following whom, 3. The large and ugly panes cover your custom background almost entirely, and thus cover one of the key ways of expressing individuality on twitter, 4. No link shortener, and 5. No means to cross-post to facebook, etc. Whereas I overlooked the last two problems problems or found convenient workarounds within my browser, I will NO LONGER be using the twitter desktop and switching to Tweetdeck, which has everything I need. I don't understand why such a horrid and poorly thought-out change is getting so much good press. Seriously, was it an issue for anyone that we had to look at photos/video in a new tab? It certainly never bothered me. (Also, you can no longer see what 3rd party clients tech-savvy people are using, thus making the decision to choose or try a new client more difficult.) In sum, new twitter is ugly, poorly-designed, and makes third party clients your only choice.

    • Baxter Tocher
      September 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      You can use the Selective Tweets app in Facebook for item 5.

  6. snk
    September 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Have it, probably won't use it much. My key need is the ability to monitor and post from multiple twitter accounts. Until the website does that, I have to stick with TweetDeck.

    • Anonymous
      October 5, 2010 at 1:21 am

      exactly! TweetDeck and HootSuite allows me to cross post to multiple accounts or not.

  7. Offend
    September 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    helloo

  8. Offend
    September 26, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    helloo

  9. Lisa
    September 26, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I think its way better, but the fact that there's no link shortener is almost a deal breaker for me. Also, in these days of potentially malicious links, a link expander would also be a nice touch.

  10. Baxter Tocher
    September 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    It still has a way to go to be as easy to use as Twazzup Reader in terms of viewing pictures and videos. And why doesn't it tell me how many @'s and DMs are waiting for me? http://reader.twazzup.com/

  11. Baxter Tocher
    September 26, 2010 at 11:55 am

    It still has a way to go to be as easy to use as Twazzup Reader in terms of viewing pictures and videos. And why doesn't it tell me how many @'s and DMs are waiting for me? http://reader.twazzup.com/

  12. Anonymous
    September 26, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I've been waiting for this. I despise the trackpad on my netbook, and I've longed for gmail-like navigation in an web app which made it simple to browse, but at the same time didn't either lack in features or come too bloated. It may just become my default- but I certainly agree that the lack or a url shortener is a big drawback. I wouldn't see it becoming too widely adopted without that feature, or multiple account support.

  13. Steve
    September 26, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Don't know about bit.ly service but on the TinyURL website there is a setting called previews. look into it. this will answer some of your concerns about not knowing where the link takes you. ~S

  14. Steve
    September 26, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Since all I can see is still the old single column view (and yes, am an avid user of Tweetdeck but other platforms and apps are available) so still can't see the advantage on the new reformatted web site.

  15. imLOST
    September 26, 2010 at 2:46 am

    I'd love if it automatically had a look into the bit.ly and tinyurl links that people post and if there was a video or a picture in there, it'd display that. THAT'd be awesome.

  16. Anonymous
    September 26, 2010 at 12:46 am

    I'd love if it automatically had a look into the bit.ly and tinyurl links that people post and if there was a video or a picture in there, it'd display that. THAT'd be awesome.

    • Steve
      September 26, 2010 at 1:15 am

      Don't know about bit.ly service but on the TinyURL website there is a setting called previews. look into it. this will answer some of your concerns about not knowing where the link takes you. ~S

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