Ok, let’s start with a confession – I’m a bit of a Twitter addict.
Actually it’s not just Twitter, I’ll try most social media platforms but as a rule if I’m awake, I can be found on Twitter. I use it on my work PC and my laptop on Tweetdeck (old Tweetdeck – NEVER new Tweetdeck!), my Android mobile phone on Twicca and also on my iPad.
Since buying the iPad I’ve been using a Twitter client called Osfoora, which did the job just fine. It has multiple account support, which I need for both personal and professional accounts, and features like View Conversation, Search, DMs, and all the other standard things you’d expect to see in a Twitter client.
But lately I’ve heard a lot of chatter about a client called Tweetbot. I was dubious; how much better could one iPad Twitter client be than another? Still, curiosity got the better of me, I bought Tweetbot and gave it a go.
At first I wasn’t too impressed. It’s nice enough, has a few little tweaks missing from Osfoora, like sound effects and control gestures, but nothing that really set it apart or gave it the “wow!” factor. The flipside of the coin is that it the interface isn’t as intuitive as Osfoora.
For example, the top of the timeline contains a search bar. This is where I would normally expect the composition bar to be for me to create a new tweet. But in actual fact there’s a symbol at the top right of the screen which must be pressed to bring up the Compose window. It’s also difficult to keep track of who has retweeted your tweets.
The process for finding out which of your tweets was retweeted, and who retweeted them, is quite convoluted:
- Select “Retweets” on the left hand side
- Press the menu icon on the top right and select “Your Tweets, Retweeted” to see which of your tweets were retweeted
- Select the tweet you want the detail on, choose “Actions” from the pop-out menu and then “View Retweets” to see who retweeted you.
I was all set for giving up on Tweetbot and going back to Osfoora, when I disvocered the former’s killer app feature – Tweetbot is integrated with Storify.
Now, I hadn’t used Storify a great deal before. I looked at it as a tool to use for some freelance political coverage during the UK elections, but I was put off by initial poor experience in Storify’s early days.
Messing around on Tweetbot and checking over a conversation I’d had I discovered an option for “Tweet this Conversation” in the sharing options. I hit the button to see what happened and it created an entry on my old Storify account for that whole conversation. I was delighted!
As the self-confessed Twitter addict that I am I have, and read, lots of really interesting conversations that I’d like to comment on at length or save for posterity. Until now I didn’t have a way to do that, and as I said, I wasn’t too keen on Storify.
I’m happy to report that Storify has gotten a lot slicker since the early days, and is much more intuitive and much less buggy. Once Tweetbot exports the conversation to Storify it’s a simple thing to add any tweets that were missing, re-order them to make more sense or even add other media.
Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned from this for other app developers out there. Tweetbot on its own wasn’t quite enough to win over from the familiar Osfoora, but its integration with a 3rd party curation app pushed it over the edge and has made it an indispensable part of my digital toolkit.
Do you have a preferred Twitter app? What are your favourite features of apps in general? Leave us a comment and tell us.
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