Twitter is killing its terrible Mac app. Here are your options for replacing it.

Twitter is killing its terrible Mac app. Here are your options for replacing it.

Use the Twitter.com web page This is Twitter’s official suggestion for navigating around the service, so this is what I tried first. I’m probably worse than most when it comes to keeping too many tabs open, but at the end of each day, I’d find myself closing half-a-dozen Twitter windows because it was easier to open a new one than find the other. It’s easy to manage multiple accounts, even if you regularly do things like scheduling posts. You can customize the columns containing specific types of content you see whenever you navigate to the TweetDeck window, and you’d be hard-pressed to find something that can cram so much social media information all on one page. Grade: B+ Tweetbot Unlike Hootsuite, Tweetbot is a stand-alone app that you can buy from the App Store. The first downside is that it costs $10 to get the desktop app. If you want the mobile version of Tweetbot, it’s going to cost you another $5. Grade: B Twitterrific 5 At $7.99, this stand-alone app is slightly cheaper than Tweetbot, especially when you consider that the Twitterrific mobile version is free. The updates scroll automatically and the single column allows me to concentrate on post without lots of stuff to distract me. It’s no longer just another box on my desktop for me to do work on.

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A sad day for Twitter’s Mac app

I have been using Twitter’s terrible Mac app since I bought my first MacBook Pro back in 2011. In that time, it has regularly crashed, soaked up my computer’s resources, sent me sporadic notifications, and generally sucked. Despite its many shortcomings, the Twitter for Mac app has been my window into the roiling, chaotic sea of the internet. On March 18, however, that window will officially close when Twitter will revoke its support. I will miss it deeply, and unironically.

This leaves me, and others like me, in a quandary. How are we supposed to keep up with the endless stream of questionable political opinions, nonsensical jokes, and the very occasional redeeming bit of cultural miscellany now? I have spent the last couple weeks trying out a few alternative ways to interact with Twitter, taking suggestions from social media experts, Twitter itself, and a collection of how-to articles of varying quality on the subject.

If you’re in a similar situation, here are your options as well as some of my impressions.

Use the Twitter.com web page

This is Twitter’s official suggestion for navigating around the service, so this is what I tried first. I immediately hit a roadblock in how difficult it is to manage multiple accounts at once through a browser. Between my personal accounts, work accounts, and joke accounts where I pretend to be sarcastic inanimate objects, logging in and out it takes up a lot of time.

The web also doesn’t scroll tweets into your stream in real time. It builds up a huge stockpile of updates under a “See new Tweets” button and then unfurls them like a medieval scroll filled with pictures of my friends’ lunches and news about smartphones. That saves computing and connection resources, but the format defers the instant gratification that the Mac app offered with its constant waterfall of content.

There are some advantages to the browser approach. It’s much more reliable than the app and it shows me all kinds of information on the same page rather than different tabs. I no longer have to switch tabs to see the collection of random strangers Twitter thinks I should follow for some reason.

My main complaint, however, is how easy it is to lose track of the tab in which Twitter now lives. I’m probably worse than most when it comes to keeping too many tabs open, but at the end of each day, I’d find myself closing half-a-dozen Twitter windows because it was easier to open a new one than find the other.

It’s ultimately a fine option if you’re a basic user or someone with far better organizational skills than my own.

Grade: C

TweetDeck
TweetDeck Twitter bought TweetDeck in 2011, but the functionality has remained relatively stagnant since then. TweetDeck

Tweet Deck

I have used Tweet Deck in the past and it has a lot going for it. It’s easy to manage multiple accounts, even if you regularly do things like scheduling posts. You can customize the columns containing specific types of content you see whenever you navigate to the TweetDeck window, and you’d be hard-pressed to find something that can cram so much social media information all on one page.

But, while that’s one of its strengths, it might…

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