With more than a billion registered users, you would think the proprietary Twitter website would offer a bit more in terms of features and customization — not to mention a prettier interface. It’s rather bland and limited in functionality, encased in a lackluster design and offering tools for little more than tweeting, viewing trends, and following other users. Thankfully, there’s a virtual bounty of desktop clients to pick up the slack and give you the options you deserve as a die-hard user of the social networking behemoth. Some are lined with language translation and tweet drafts, others multiple-account management systems and inline media previews, but each easily exceeds the rudimentary features first introduced alongside Twitter in 2006 (whether you opt for a freemium or premium offering). Best of all, there are quality clients no matter your operating system.
Here are our picks for the best Twitter clients for PC and Mac. Whether you use them to hammer out sweet nothings or to follow Kanye’s latest endeavors, the choice is up to you. Also, check out our comprehensive guides on how to get more followers on Twitter, how to use Twitter and how to make a Twitter background if you’re still becoming acclimated to the ins and outs of the social networking service.
This article has been updated since it was originally published to reflect new releases and software updates. Last update: April 14, 2014. Emily Schiola contributed to this article.
Sobees — Free
Sometimes the best things in (Twitter) life go unnoticed. The lesser-known, unconventional Sobees has been around for more than five years, swapping from private to public soon after the beta phase ended in 2010. Despite lacking a few of the flagship features one comes to expect from a quality Twitter client, the software remains industrious and highly customizable, allowing users to incorporate Facebook and LinkedIn alongside multiple Twitter accounts. The coupled UI is relatively bare, lined with messaging, list management, in addition to other notable options running the height of the window’s left-hand side, all of which are draped in a transparent layout chosen from a robust list of 16 differing designs. It boasts simple retweet functionality and innate status posting as well, but given the software is designed to be a all-encompassing social-networking beast of a client, it doesn’t offer tweet filtering, inline previews or other similar functions catered toward power users. Still, it’s simple and stable, and meshed with enough interface customization to give other desktop clients a run for their money — if the freemium utility actual came at a price.
Tweetium — $3
There aren’t many Twitter clients exclusively available for Windows 8. Thankfully, B-Side Software’s Tweetium is one of the best offerings on any platform given it’s polished UI and streamlined auto feed. The app, also available on Windows phones, supports more than a dozen color schemes and individual design templates, allowing users to adjust the window from portrait mode to snap view, along with all manor of additional window sizes. Aside from the standard options for posting new tweets and embedding third-party media types, the software also bundles username auto-complete, pinned lists, live tile notifications, and complete integration with the Windows Share charm for sharing to and from the app. It features multi-window support, and though it doesn’t grant users the ability to switch between different timelines, it does provide the ability to break out specific tabs and search for a particular username or tweet. However, what makes the new software a standout is the developer’s responsiveness and sheer level of flexibility. B-Side Software encourages direct feedback through its UserVoice page, often issuing frequent updates reflective of users desires.
Tweetro+ — $10
Great applications never remain free for long. Although once free, Tweetro has become the most expensive option on the list given the company was forced to nix the free version of its software due to Twitter’s API rules. However, it remains a comprehensive and innovative choice, allowing you to manage up to two accounts for a one-time fee or up to five if you opt for additional in-app purchases. The dark, metro-style homepage displays your profile information alongside the timeline — and a separate timeline for photos — all of which you can navigate using the built-in, sideways scroll. The profile view breaks up your mentions, tweets, lists, and favorites so you can quickly scan them using the aforementioned scroll. You can easily access others’ mentions, favorites, and tweets once you click their profile, and Tweetro+ automatically displays the corresponding link directly beside the profile feed when you click on a tweet housing an embedded link. Dragging the timeline to either the left of the right corner will even minimize the feed, allow convenient desktop access while still ensuring the software automatically updates. Like Tweetium, the streamlined Tweetro+ is exclusively available for Windows 8 if you’re willing to pay the premium price tag.
Tweeki — Free
Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: Tweeki requires users sign up with a free Intel account and install the regretful Pokki desktop client in order to utilize the Twitter software. It’s by no means ideal — no one should be required to install a platform that essentially functions as a Start menu replacement for Windows — but it’s not the most burdensome, bundled process or piece of software around either. Fortunately, if you move past the aforementioned installation hiccup, Tweeki offers some of the most basic functionality within a sleek design of an application on our list. The minimalist UI is far from overwhelming or obtrusive, garbed in a white-and-gray design and fixed to a specific, non-adjustable width of the developer’s choosing. Tweets, direct messages, lists, and other social interactions are readily available at the top of the window, with a blatant tweet composer nestled in the top-right corner for quick access in any scenario. Moreover, Tweeki features advanced URL shortening, inline media previews, cross-platform syncing, and badge and banner notifications indicating unread messages and the like. Plus, the feed automatically refreshes and the app handles switching between multiple Twitter accounts flawlessly.