4 Good Alternatives to TweetDeck & Seesmic Desktop (Twitter Desktop Clients)

Mahendra Palsule 27-09-2009

4 Good Alternatives to TweetDeck & Seesmic Desktop (Twitter Desktop Clients) twitterWhile TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop remain the most popular Twitter desktop clients, many people are turning to web-based alternatives. But why, when there are so many desktop clients around?


There are several reasons why this may be a preferred way to use Twitter:

  • Running a separate Twitter desktop client application (usually with Adobe AIR) takes up additional system resources, which can slowdown your system.
  • Integrate Twitter smoothly in your workflow, since you don’t need to switch between the browser and an application.
  • You don’t need to download anything and are always using the latest version automatically.
  • If you wish, you can switch between different web apps easily and swiftly.
  • Web apps provide some special features not available in common desktop apps.

Which web-based apps should you use? What are their unique features when compared to the common Twitter desktop clients? In this article, we will look at four Twitter web apps and highlight their unique features so that you can choose the right one to make use of.


HootSuite is an easy-to-use but powerful Twitter application. The interface is very flexible and you can create nice layouts just the way you want them. You can have multiple tabs, with each tab showing up to four columns of tweets. You can drag and drop columns and tabs, change width of columns, and set individual refresh intervals for each tab. Columns can be used for Groups, Mentions, DMs, and Searches just like other apps.


The unique features of HootSuite are:

  • Co-workers can tweet from the same Twitter account
  • You can track the number of clicks on the links you tweet
  • You can schedule tweets for later
  • You can feed any RSS/Atom feed to your Twitter account
  • You can use with HootSuite to broadcast tweets to other networks
  • The Hootlet is a bookmarklet for your browser toolbar to tweet about a web page

HootSuite Stats


Brizzly is the newest web app for Twitter, at present in beta for which you can quickly get an invite just by signing up. It is extremely easy to use, has an uncluttered, clean look, and you will find yourself tweeting within minutes. You can use up to 5 Twitter accounts and create up to 5 groups.

Brizzly with Inline Video

Brizzly’s claim to fame is for the following:

  • Inline view of pictures, maps, and videos from a variety of sources
  • Save drafts of Tweets like just like email drafts
  • Temporarily “mute” prolific tweeters to hide their updates in your stream
  • Easily view or edit explanations of Twitter’s trending topics
  • Keyboard shortcuts for power users
  • Upload pictures directly via Brizzly and track their number of clicks

Brizzly Trends Info


TwitHive is a different breed among these Twitter web apps. TwitHive uses the term “channels” to describe what essentially become columns once you create them. You can have a highly customized Twitter client because of the flexibility you have in defining channels.

TwitHive 3 Channels

A channel, or column, can be made up of Tweets, Groups, DMs, and Search. The Tweets column can additionally be filtered to display Conversations (tweets with an @reply), Questions, ReTweets, Links, or Keywords. In the example above, I have 3 columns set to display ReTweets, Tweets with Links, and a Search column for Facebook. Also, it is easy to track keyword or brand mentions with TwitHive.


TwitHive Add New Channel

Seesmic Web

Seesmic Desktop’s web-based cousin is not as powerful, but has a few nifty features you won’t find in its desktop version. It is easy to use and offers a choice of two different color schemes. At present, it does not support multiple Twitter accounts and does not allow you to create groups. While these features are just around the corner, Seesmic Web is an attractive option if you are following a limited number of people from a single account.

Seesmic Web Gmail View

Seesmic Web has the following standout features:

  • Gmail-like interface that lets you view large number of tweets instantly
  • Inline previews of pictures, maps, and videos on mouseover
  • Threaded DM conversation view (as shown below)
  • Support for French, German, Chinese and Romanian languages

Seesmic DM View

Did you find the post useful? Did we miss your favorite Twitter web-app? Tell us in the comments!

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  1. Mohammad Badi Irshid
    September 30, 2009 at 7:02 am

    You forgot a great alternative

  2. Alyssa Myers
    September 30, 2009 at 12:23 am

    I'm looking for a Twitter app that will allow me to see Twitter streams of people in certain cities. Twitteriffic can do it on the iPhone, but not the desktop app. Any help?

  3. barney
    September 29, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    OK, I'm gonna hafta differ on this one. I have other uses for my browser, but I still, at times, need to keep track of tweets.

    On my system, TweetDeck uses less system resource than another browser instance. No, tabs won't do ... switching back and forth between tabs is 'bout the same as reloading the page each time I want to check.

    TweetDeck can be set to a given automatic refresh interval, audible alert on refresh, and keyword- or handle-specific searches. So if it beeps, I take a quick glance, then act appropriately.

    Web apps are fine, but when you need to have several available at the same time, the browser overhead can kill ya.

    When you spend most of your day in a browser, little things like TweetDeck, Seesmic, et. al., can be great time-savers. Their benefit is greater than the resource cost.

  4. Apfelchip
    September 28, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Brizzly is awesome! It's very useful that you can organize people in groups.
    It also expands shortened URLs and shows thumbnails of images and videos.

  5. ethnicomm
    September 28, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Also suggest TweetFunnel and CoTweet.

  6. Atul Sabnis
    September 28, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Thanks Mahendra, as usual very useful article.

    The HootSuite Co-worker tweet facility has a catch. See the last Q on their FAQ: "When I try to add my friend, HootSuite says they already have an account. What's the deal?"

    Also, I recommend if you are looking for a good web-client (no multiple accounts, however).

  7. Web 2.0
    September 28, 2009 at 6:18 am

    I have started to use HootSuite and I really recommend it :)

  8. Ian - Marketing Difference
    September 28, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Thanks for this. TweetDeck won't work on my PC due to it hogging so much memory. I want to try a web based alternative as it makes more sense given my PC is not the newest.

  9. venkat
    September 28, 2009 at 1:15 am

    I always use web interface of twitter more than tweetdeck

  10. Jonathan Cohen
    September 27, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Any suggestions for a Twitter client where I can filter tweets? I subscribe to many people, but really need to view tweets from my 'top 10' most often...

    • Martyn Parker
      September 28, 2009 at 1:32 am

      Jonathon... give JournoTwit a try. You can create many custom columns and filter till your hearts content!

      • Sticky Media Group
        September 28, 2009 at 11:40 am

        Hootsuite allows you to do this too, by building a list of your favourite people.

        We use it for this purpose amongst others, and it's pretty good. Haven't tried JournoTwit, but give them both a go and see which suits you best.

    • christopher
      September 28, 2009 at 11:49 am

      Try It does scoring so that you can see only your top people

    • Jbaer
      September 29, 2009 at 12:42 pm

      @jonathan cohen, you can use hoootsuite and create a column designated to the selective 10 people in mind..
      with Hootsuite you can create "groups"
      Hootsuite is the bomb to manage accounts and users.

      good luck

  11. gagahput3ra
    September 27, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Have you tried twitzap?

    • Martyn Parker
      September 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm


      Twitzap, Brizzly, Social Whale.... all good, but JournoTwit really helps you organize and filter your tweets!

  12. Martyn Parker
    September 27, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Try I think it is better than all of the above. Once you start using it you won't go back to any of the other!