A few weeks ago, I took a look at the best Twitter apps for iPhone. It was interesting to read the replies I got on Twitter from people who felt strongly one way or another about third-party apps or using the official Twitter one. People who like third-party apps often prefer them for reasons that do make sense. People who are fine with the official Twitter app (based on how they use Twitter) should stick with it. The great thing about the ecosystem (it’s hanging on by a thread) is that both third-party and first-party options work for people. It’s really one of those “what’s best for you” situations. This week, I want to look at the best Twitter app for Mac. Because Twitter killed its official app for Mac last March, third-party apps are all you can use (except for TweetDeck). Twitter would prefer desktop users use Twitter.com. While the Twitter website is fine for casual tweeting, people who use Twitter on desktop with any regularity will want a dedicated app. This week, I am going to pick the best Twitter app for the Mac.
I still remember using TweetDeck for Mac back in 2008 when it was an Adobe AIR application. In 2010, Twitter purchased the app. It eventually was re-released as a native app for Mac and Windows (though the PC app has been discontinued in favor of a web app.
TweetDeck is really aimed at people who use social media for a living. While I prefer tools like Hootsuite and Buffer for managing corporate accounts (monitoring trends, managing incoming DMs, etc), TweetDeck is a nice native alternative. It has a number of handy features for managing multiple accounts, can use group direct messages (third-party apps cannot), can schedule tweets, and can monitor trends.
Does TweetDeck feel like it takes advantage of everything macOS has to offer? No, but it’s workable. Other than being free, there is no way I can consider it to be the best Twitter app for the Mac, though. It feels like a web app wrapped in a native wrapper. It used to have significant crashing problems, but Twitter seems to have gotten that under control.
TweetDeck is a free app on the Mac App Store.
Twitterrific 5 for Mac
Like I mentioned in my best Twitter for iPhone round-up, Twitterrific has been around forever. I can remember using the Mac app from my first days on Twitter back in 2007/2008. Version 5 of Twitterrific for Mac is really well done. It supports a number of useful features like no ads, sync to the iPhone version, a chronological timeline, and a ton of customization options for the user interface.
A unique feature that Twitterrific for the Mac offers that no other client I’ve seen include is a unified timeline. A unified timeline puts all of your @ replies in your main timeline even if you don’t follow that person. While I personally don’t want that, I know others do. Another unique feature that Twitterrific offers is the ability to “edit” a tweet. Since Twitter doesn’t natively offer this feature, the app works around it by deleting it and tweeting it again with the correction.
Overall, Twitterrific has a lot to offer. If you love the iPhone version, you’ll love the Mac version. If you don’t like the iPhone version, you’ll probably want to skip it on the Mac as well.
Twitterrific 5 can be loaded on the Mac App Store for $7.99.
Tweetbot 3 for Mac
Tweetbot for the Mac has been around for a number of years, and I’ve used it off and on since version 1. Of all the apps I’ve tried, it feels like what a native Twitter app for the Mac would look like if Twitter put effort into one. It offers similar features to Twitterific in that there are no ads and includes a chronological timeline. Some of its unique features are a built-in GIF search engine, an expandable sidebar, built in tweet threading (stringing together multiple tweets as replies), and the ability to jot down notes on a profile while keeping it private to you.
My favorite overall feature of Tweetbot for Mac is the column view. While it’s very similar to what TweetDeck offers, it does it with a much smoother interface. The main thing it’s missing is a streaming timeline (TweetDeck offers it), but for my needs, I don’t use it.
Tweetbot 3 is well supported, includes access to all of the Twitter features it gets access to, and is a joy to use. If love the iPhone version, you’ll love this Mac version as well. Tweetbot 3 can be downloaded on the Mac App Store for $9.99.
Wrap-up: What’s the best Twitter app for the Mac?
Overall, I prefer Tweetbot 3 for the Mac as my favorite Twitter app. The overall design works with how I think a Twitter app should feel. This choice isn’t to discount Twitterrific 5 for the Mac, though. It’s a solid app with a great feature set. In fact, Twitterrific and Tweetbot offer mostly the same features from 40,000 feet. If you want more than what Twitter.com has to offer, but a less noisy interface compared to TweetDeck, both Tweetbot and Twitterrific are great. If you prefer the iOS versions of one of them, you’ll probably prefer the corresponding macOS app.
Photo by Con Karampelas on Unsplash
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