Choosing a Twitter Client

This article was originally written for the February 2022 edition of Hemispheric News, delivered as part of the Hemispheric Views podcast member bonus program, One Prime Plus

Update as of August 2022: I have basically settled on Twitterrific on iOS/iPadOS and Twitter on macOS.

I don’t love Twitter, but I use the heck out of it for one reason only: following the Australian National Basketball League (@NBL) and the community of passionate fans around it.

For a normal person with this use case, they would use the company-issued Twitter app and be done with it. But you know that I’m not normal (and not Martin Feld) so default apps are not generally in my wheelhouse. So it is with Twitter.

The best thing about a third-party app is the lack of in-line ads, and the chronological timeline. They bring other benefits (and some deficiencies) but these are the two reasons why I don’t accept usage of the Twitter app.

For the past year I’ve been using Tweetbot, but as is my wont, I elected not to auto-renew my subscription. They got a year of income from me, but the implied agreement with a subscription app is that I can (and should?) walk away at the end of the term to consider my options and assess the broader market.

A couple of months ago I purchased Spring. I like that this app is a one-time purchase, and it unlocks the app on all platforms (iOS, iPadOS, macOS). I’ve been using it in tandem with Tweetbot to see how it works. It’s… fine? I don’t like the way it shows the thread of a retweet within the context of the main timeline. I end up seeing the same tweets over and over, and it bloats the timeline. This is probably because I’m a timeline completionist. I can imagine that if one was dipping in and out, the additional context might be welcomed. I also struggle with the UX flow of the app. I think I understand its logic, but I find myself having to think about it. I don’t want to think that hard about Twitter.

My next option is Twitterrific. I used this many, many years ago. I’ve once again downloaded it for iOS but have yet to buy the subscription. I don’t like that the subscription doesn’t unlock the macOS version. That seems less than ideal. I have a memory of developers Iconfactory saying this was going to change, but I can’t confirm that, and as at the time of this article, it isn’t the case. So I will judge based on what is in front of me.

I like the airy, spacious feel of Twitterrific. Its big thing is the unified timeline where it puts replies and mentions inline with everything else. This seems less revolutionary these days.

I honestly don’t know what to do. Are there other options out there that I’m neglecting?

Which app do you use? Which one should I use?

Help!

And if you want to see lots of random comments about NBL basketball, follow @andrewcanion.

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