Before Elon Musk bought Twitter and made significant changes to their app ecosystem, there used to be a plethora of Twitter clients, third-party apps devoted solely to allowing its users to consume tweets. Some of these clients or apps were Android or iOS only while there were also dedicated Twitter clients for Mac and Windows devices.
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Unfortunately, that world came to an abrupt end in early 2023 when Twitter closed off access to a majority of these third-party Twitter apps.
While Twitter has made improvements in its user interface, if you are looking for options for how to use Twitter, you are still in luck. There are still alternative solutions you can use to monitor your timeline and notifications. Most of these come in the form of the same Twitter dashboards that companies have been using to manage their social media. These Twitter clients still exist because their main purpose is not just a Twitter app, and therefore the thought is that Twitter will not lose many advertising $$$ because you probably won’t be consuming too many tweets through them.
Let’s take a deeper look at what happened at Twitter and then dig deeper into the alternatives you can still use today.
What Happened to All of the Dedicated Twitter Clients?
Citing violations to Twitter rules (though some have suggested the rules were changed after rights were revoked), Twitter officially destroyed all compatibility with and access to Twitter alternatives to management and use. The precise reason for this is still largely unknown; some have posited that a customizable Twitter app run from a third party made algorithm patterns and ads more difficult to see.
The precise reasons for the revocation notwithstanding, third-party services have officially been removed from the lineup of Twitter offerings, including some of the third-party clients that were responsible for increasing innovation on Twitter. This includes third-party clients who were responsible for branding, apps for re-Tweeting (which were later purchased by Twitter), and more. The chronological timeline of Twitter’s development demonstrates the value of third-party clients in the history of Twitter, and the loss of them has been a significant blow to independent developers and active users, alike.
The removal of third-party apps from Twitter’s lineup means that access to features many people have come to rely on has been removed, as have many advanced features that are not available on the Twitter platform itself. What is left includes the basic and distinct features of Twitter itself, and the few recognized apps that have been developed by Twitter, or recognized as official Twitter apps.
Official Twitter Clients
Despite the changes that have been made to additional features available for Twitter in favor of more basic features, there remain several official Twitter clients including the following:
Arguably, there’s nothing quite like the original.
When Twitter was a new platform, the only option for sending Tweets was to go onto Twitter.com and send your Tweet from a PC. If you may remember, Twitter was released more than a year before the first iPhone, so Web tweeting is the original method. Now, there are many other ways to send Tweets, yet directly through Twitter, or using an “official” Twitter app, is still the favorite and most powerful feature to deliver Tweets.
Originally developed independently, Tweetdeck is now part of Twitter itself. Back in the day, it is safe to say that it was the leading client outside of Twitter.com, before the emergence of HootSuite. Based on its history, you might call it a midway point between using just the Twitter app or website and going with a full service third-party social media manager with a seemingly endless list of features.
However, far from being a “little brother” to Twitter, this app is intended to offer enhanced features not available to those who only use Twitter. For instance, Tweetdeck allows you to schedule posts in advance. It also helps you “compress” the contents of your posts to fit the character limit. Part of this is through the use of miniature Web links and hashtag management to keep things lively and consistent across social networks.
Twitter-Dedicated Content Creation and Management Apps
Each of these content creation and management apps focus entirely on Twitter, rather than a broad spectrum of social platforms, but provide more functionality than a simple client platform typically offers.
3. Tweet Hunter
Tweet Hunter is an AI-based tool with several cool features, the most valuable of which is, perhaps, its ability to deliver generated content to keep up to date with your particular niche or area of interest. Its distinctive features include AI Tweet generation, inspiration in the form of regular updates on popular Tweets from your niche, and access to ghostwriters with whom to develop Tweets. A frequent Twitter user is likely to benefit from the use of Tweet Hunter, especially one who is looking to improve their following without dramatically increasing the amount of time they spend on the social network.
Hypefury’s name is apt; from the most lightweight Twitter client to the more invested, Hypefury can prove useful. Doubling as a source of inspiration, and an automated service, Hypefury helps you determine what you want to surround yourself with and derive inspiration from in order to write, then tracks your best-performing Tweets and automatically promotes your site, course, newsletter, and more, to drive more traffic to these spaces. The customization options are not vast, but what is done is done well, and provides a great deal of consistency for your timeline of Tweets. Hypefury functions as an automation platform and a customizable platform to develop your own brand.
5. Social Dog
Social Dog’s offerings focus primarily on post management and analytics. Although it does not have any additional features to recommend it over some of its peers, the features it does offer, it does well. Post management abilities include post scheduling and idea milling; advanced filters allow users to focus on keywords and use social listening to keep abreast of trends in your niche. Follower management tools is a favorite feature, as it allows marketing teams and individuals alike to evaluate trends in follower increases and decreases, to determine which posts are more likely to improve engagement, and which posts fall flat. The aforementioned features make Social Dog particularly useful for teams looking to gain insights and more closely tailor posts.
Circleboom’s particular boatload of features focus more on management than content creation. For this reason, Circleboom is best for people seeking customization features that focus on audience insights and management, with a small helping of search features and the ability to delete already posted Tweets. This last function can be particularly helpful for the frequent Twitter user who might post first and think later, or produce a large number of Tweets and need to pare down–or even a user who might find themselves prone to forgetfulness or errors. Circleboom is a great 3rd party Twitter app for audience management, deleting Tweets, and its search features.
Social Media Dashboards with Twitter Functionality
Although many of the third party apps’ availability was removed, one of the most popular features of social media dashboards continues to be their ability to work with Twitter. Dashboards still available to use with Twitter include:
7. Social Pilot
Unlike many of the other offerings listed here, Social Pilot is a longstanding platform with a variety of enhanced options across numerous social media sites. While the entire platform is not dedicated to Twitter specifically, Social Pilot still has plenty to offer anyone looking to improve their Twitter experience. As a management tool, Social Pilot offers the ability to get a bird’s-eye view of your Twitter calendar, derive insight from analytics, and create engaging content to continually publish on your Twitter feed. Functioning as a customizable platform from which to manage multiple platforms, Social Pilot allows you to do virtually everything from a single, easy to use interface.
SocialBee is a client that mostly focuses on automated posting and evergreen content, although they have introduced a new Engage features pictured above that already allows you to manage mentions and comments from your Twitter feed, with post and message management. coming soon.
SocialBee really excels as a content management client for Twitter and all of your social media, allowing you to import and process bulk content from a number of methods and create, manage, and analyze queues of content to keep your Twitter followers engaged.
As an Agorapulse user myself, I’m well aware of its overall value for social media scheduling as a whole. After all, there’s a lot more to managing social media than just logging into your accounts once in a while. Agorapulse allows users to see what other people are saying about their business, or their client’s business. However, it’s even more important to note that Agorapulse has scheduling options, allowing Tweets to be sent even when the account holder isn’t online.
10. Sprout Social
Built for teamwork, Sprout Social is one of those customer service-centered utilities. After all, you can set it up to manage multiple Twitter accounts and have several members of your marketing team. While you might be surprised Sprout Social wasn’t more popular in this study, I think it makes sense: Influencers are often solopreneurs, so they generally don’t have a large team. An assistant is what most of them tend to manage. Additionally, while influencers interact with their followers, there isn’t a customer service aspect with them like most other businesses. Which makes Sprout Social overkill for most of them.
Speaking of overkill, Sprout Social really does offer a complete software package for businesses which includes contact management, competitive insight, lead generation and more unique functionality that few Twitter clients on this page have.
With a hefty focus on meeting your marketing efforts where they are now, and creating a developer platform from which to manage all of your social posts and relationships, Sendible is best used as a means of developing a consistent tone across platforms, along with analytics that can help you determine the correct time, spacing, and themes for your particular brand or business. Sendible is designed to be used as part of a team, rather than being used as a solo management platform, and can help users develop a posting timeline and aesthetic that works best for their brand across many different social media sites.
Hootsuite is probably popular because the Twitter integration capabilities are first class, including the team reply feature. With this function, you can have a customer service group responding to Mentions from other users, facilitating both customer service and user engagement. Another great part of this tool is the ease with which users can upload media files to Twitter, including video. Influencers with a significant presence on other platforms can use Hootsuite to manage these, as well. However, when I last did this study, Hootsuite was at the top of the list, and Buffer has passed it. That means that Hootsuite’s share of Tweets has declined considerably, at least by social media marketing influencers. That being said, Hootsuite’s robust functionality is on par with any tool on this list – check out our post on Hootsuite features for more details.
Buffer is a full-service social media management program, known for its smarter tool to schedule your tweets. Plan out all your tweets for a particular day, fill up your Buffer with your desired tweets, then Buffer schedules them for you. Have multiple Twitter accounts? You can manage all of them in one place, an option not available for the native Twitter client.
With Buffer, users can also design a post for each chosen social media platform using the same materials. This makes sharing a branded message in more than one place super easy.
This application is also a full-service social media manager and marketing suite. One of the great things about this software is that it does a little bit of everything, saving time for the busy professional. For Twitter users, CoSchedule has valuable tools to not only schedule Tweets in advance, but actively monitor your account. They’ll collect Mentions and other brand-centered Twitter activity, and report back to you. Among marketing professionals, the analytics capabilities are excellent, as well. I think that one reason it isn’t more popular, though, is that CoSchedule is a “heavy duty” application. It’s geared more towards marketing agencies than personal users.
15. Social Oomph
Originally known as Tweet Later back in the day, Social Oomph was one of the first Twitter clients allowing you a cutting edge way of scheduling your tweets to post in the future. Since then they have focused on building a tool that offers productivity solutions for social media users.
I say this is a tech savvy choice because this is one of the few tools that works with tech companies and gaming community-favored apps such as Discord and Mastodon. Social Oomph is one of the first apps built with the Twitter API, so their technology is cutting-edge. However, it’s only for social media scheduling, and doesn’t offer any analytics tools. That’s probably why it isn’t as popular of an option for marketers.
I find that active tweeters often have very deep and passionate relationships with their social media apps, so now it’s your turn: What do you use for your Twitter client and recommend to the world? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
All of My Clients
Hero photo by John Duncan on Unsplash