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Web, Mobile, and Desktop Twitter Applications to Customize Your Twitter Experience

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There are some applications you can use to customize Twitter for your purposes. Some are web-based while others are third-party clients that can be downloaded to your computer. Twitter has made finding applications easy. At the bottom of the Twitter page, you can see a series of links. One says either Widgets or Applications. If you know the web address for the application’s site, you can use that as well.

There are mobile applications for your smart phone, web-based applications, and desktop applications. We will take a look at a few from each category just to give you an idea of what is out there. From that, you should be able to have a good idea of what you’re looking for in a Twitter application and search for one with your preferred features.

Mobile

Twitter for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch/Android/ Blackberry: These apps stream Twitter in real time, just as the web site does. These apps are free to download and use from their respective app stores.

Twitterific: This was Twitter for iPhone before Twitter for iPhone was. It’s the first Twitter app to hit the iPhone app store. It’s tagline has been “Twitterific puts Twitter in your pocket.” With the iPhone, indeed it does. It includes a link-shortening service and tweet translations. You can use it to filter your Twitter stream to specific types of tweets. The app is universal for iPhone and iPad. The initial app itself is free. However, you can get an in-app purchase of Twitterific Premium for $4.99, which will remove ads and allow you to manage more than one account.

Ecofon: This Twitter app also boasts a clean interface. The initial app is free with the option for an in-app purchase for $4.99 to Ecofon Pro. In addition to real-time streaming, it allows you to mute users and hashtags as well as to preview pictures, videos, etc., in your stream so you can decide if you’re interested before viewing the links.

Plume: This Android-based Twitter app was formerly known as Touiteur. When Twitter complained about its name, it was changed to Plume. It also allows for previewing media before you commit to seeing it. It lets you manage more than one account and “colorize” your stream. It has a free version and a paid version ($2.99).

TweetDeck: TweetDeck was once a third-party application, but it is now part of Twitter. It works with Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Google Buzz. It allows you to change the vibration, sound, and color alerts you receive for your notifications. (As a side note, there is also TweetDeck for iPhone.) This is a free app.

UberTwitter: This app is available for free in the Blackberry App World. Other than Twitter for Blackberry (discussed next), this appears to be the most popular Blackberry Twitter app available. It has a clean interface, allows for editing retweets before you send them, and dialog bubbles on the friends/mentions page.

Blackberry Twitter: This app is also available for free in the Blackberry App World. It promotes the ability to stay connected with the people and the information you care about the most. It streams Twitter in real time. As a side note to Blackberry users, it has been reported that there will soon be a version of TweetDeck for Blackberry, so be on the lookout for that.

Web-Based

Social Oomph: This app offers free and for-fee services. The basic services include scheduling tweets, tracking keywords, shortening links, and deleting all messages from your direct messages at once. Additional features include expanding and securing your Twitter profile, saving and reusing drafts, and managing multiple accounts. The site has a simple interface that makes signing up, logging in, and using the site easy to do. Additional features you can get for a fee include automate following new followers back, visiting new followers’ profiles, and sending direct messages to new followers. However, I advise against opting in to any automated DM-sending service.

HootSuite: This site bills itself as a “Social Media Dashboard.” It supports several different social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ping, MySpace, FourSquare, WordPress, and Mixi. It has a basic option, which is free, and a pro options, for $5.99 a month. You can view multiple streams for each account you include. For example, with your Twitter account, you could view the main stream, mentions, direct messages received, direct messages sent, tweets that you sent, and scheduled tweets. It also offers tools so you can view your statistics. However, some of these tools are available only on HootSuite Pro. There are also Firefox and Chrome extensions and add-ons that can be installed. In addition, there are some choices for downloadable desktop applications as well.

Buffer: Buffer is a free web-based app that works with both Twitter and Facebook. If you don’t have anything to say, you can click “Suggest an update” and it will auto-populate one for you. They typically say something about using Buffer or give a quote. You set the times you want your tweets to go through. However, you can only schedule one tweet per time slot. The purpose of this is so you don’t flood your followers with tweets and links if you choose to use it.

Twitterfeed: Import your blogs into your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other accounts with Twitterfeed. It’s free to register. You need to know the RSS feed address for your blog. Give your feed a name. Don’t make it too long because it counts in your 140 characters that Twitter gives you. Enter the feed address and click “continue.” You will need to authenticate your account with Twitter so Twitterfeed will have permission to publish the feed to your account. Click “create service.” It will take you back to the top of the page so you can add additional accounts if you want to. Otherwise, click “All Done.” The next page gives you a confirmation of the information you’ve entered. If it’s all correct, go to the Dashboard so you can track your results.

Desktop

TweetDeck: TweetDeck is a third-party platform that streams tweets according to the way you want them. You can have one or more columns. A usual setup has columns for your main Twitter feed, friends, direct messages, and any hashtag searches you have going. The design is black background with white print. You have to install Adobe Air, free from for it to run.

Digsby: Digsby is a multi-platform, multi-function application. It allows for feeds and announcements from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others. It also collects your e-mail and chat functions, such as ICQ.

Seesmic: Seesmic is compatible with both PC and Mac operating systems. It has a similar functionality to TweetDeck with multiple columns allowing you to customize how you want to use it.

There are many other third-party mobile, web-based, and desktop Twitter applications than what we have talked about here. The one that is best for you is the one you find the most user-friendly. Personally, I prefer to use Twitter directly on the website. You might prefer one of the other options discussed here or even another you find yourself.

The idea is to make it as user-friendly for you as it can be.

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