Though the word "twitter" means "idle or ignorant talk," there's nothing inconsequential about Twitter, the online service that made sharing messages in 140 characters effective. Twitter has been used to share opinions, communicate crucial information in times of emergencies, and even start protests.
There are many ways to use Twitter, including logging in and typing out your tweets (the short messages that form the basis of the service) via the Twitter.com URL. Here we detail eighteen other tools, from mobile apps to desktop applications and web services you can use to maximize the Twitter as a method of expression, or even a tracking and marketing tool.
Of course, we'll start with the official Twitter app for iOS and Android. This app lets you manage multiple Twitter accounts and includes all the core functionality of Twitter, including posting tweets, tracking mentions (when people tag your Twitter username by preceding it with an "@"), sharing updates posted by others (by "retweeting" them), and replying directly to other tweets. The Twitter app also allows users to explore links right within a built-in web browser.
Verdict: Overall, the official softwaresatisfies the needs of most with a 'vanilla' Twitter experience. There are more feature-packed apps out there, though.
TweetCaster is a feature-rich mobile Twitter app for tweeting on the go. TweetCaster includes support for multiple Twitter accounts, the ability to mirror your tweets as Facebook posts, a Smart Filter feature for sorting through content, a Zip It mechanic for hiding irritating tweets without having to unfollow someone, TweetMarker support to sync your timeline across devices, and more. Best of all, it's free!
Verdict: TweetCaster is a great Twitter client if you're looking for a bit more than what the default Twitter client offers.
Falcon Pro is an excellent paid Twitter client for Android users. A slick gesture-based interface keeps the toolbars and menus hidden (just a flick away), letting you focus on the good stuff: your stream of tweets, retweets, mentions, and DMs. The clean interface also hides loads of features such as Tweet drafting, inline previews of photos and videos, a light web browser and YouTube viewer, profile and contacts management, and more. It doesn't have multiple account support though, which is a bit of a downer on an otherwise excellent app.
Verdict: Falcon Pro is an excellent Twitter client app for Android users for a very reasonable price, so long as not having multiple account support isn't an issue for you.
Plume (formerly known as Touiteur) is a neat mobile Twitter client with a nice, easily customizable user interface that also sports loads of extra features. Multiple account support, geotagging, Facebook posting, picture previews, an internal browser, and numerous filtering options are just the tip of the iceberg. We particularly like the interface customization options that allow you to tweak the app so it's just right for your reading comfort.
Verdict: A nicely customizable interface combined with loads of features make for a nicely usable Twitter client app.
Buffer is a social media management tool that lets you space out the scheduling of your social media posts, tweets, and shares. Rather than swamping your readers with tons of content spammed out in one massive blast of tweets, you can instead queue them up in Buffer and have the app stagger out your posts over a series of hours or days. Buffer also includes a host of analytics tools to examine the stats behind your posts. The app plays well with multiple reader and tweeting apps, such as TweetCaster, Feedly, Tweetings, and others.
Verdict: A simple means to space out your tweets if you're concerned about bombarding followers with content.
CyBranding's Hashtagify.me is a hashtag search engine that helps you look up hashtags and posts that include them. It also gathers data and presents a list of related hashtags. Find out what hashtags relate to each other, discover whose posts influence the hashtag, popular languages used to post about the tag, and more!
Verdict: Hashtagify.me provides loads of interesting statistics about hashtag use, and the premium subscription gives you even more analytics to work with.
Tweriod is an analysis tool that helps you figure out the best time to tweet in order to reach those following you. The service takes a look at your tweets, as well as those made by your followers. It then crunches some numbers, and then gets back to you with a report suggesting particular times in order to maximize your tweeting.
Verdict: A free and simple tool for maximizing the chances that your followers will spot your Twitter activity.