Mac desktop Twitter client roundup

I’ve been a Tweetie 1/Mac user for a long time now, and it has suited my needs well. However, there are minor annoyances. After Twitter acquired Tweetie developer Atebits, posts from Tweetie/Mac started showing up as posted from ‘Twitter for iPhone’. Also, Tweetie has semi-excellent keyboard navigation support but it’s too buggy, making me grab my mouse/touchpad in annoyance very frequently. Given the sheer amount of Twitter clients available, I asked my friends on Twitter and Facebook to suggest some options. Here are my biased opinions on the suggestions. I would like to thank all who contributed!


Kiwi looks and feels like it really wants to be Tweetie - but it’s nowhere close. Scrolling is jerky and the free version is much more annoying than the occasional ad in Tweetie.


Echofon was recommended to me as ‘very minimal yet complete’ and it is. For single account usage, Echofon is basically on par with Tweetie for usability, including keyboard navigation. However, multiple account support seems hackish - events in one account are very hard to notice when focused on another account. This is one thing Tweetie gets absolutely right.

If I only had one account to manage, I could seriously consider switching to Echofon.


Nambu is a bit fuller-featured in the UI department than the clients above, including Tweetie. Keyboard navigation is better than Tweetie (although it lacks some shortcuts) and about as buggy. Like Echofon, single account usage is great, and Nambu has some features I really dig, like thumbnails on twitpic-posts. Multiple account support in Nambu is excellent, with a choice between combining all timelines, and having them separated with use of a sidebar. Enabling the sidebar pops out an interface that resembles a cross between Tweetie and, very clean.

If Echofon or Tweetie seem limited or minimal, Nambu is a great choice.

Note that adding an account to Nambu means you suddenly follow two extra accounts (@nambu and the developer). The checkbox to disable this behaviour doesn’t seem to work. Spammy if you ask me.


On first startup, TweetDeck is very daunting. It more than fills my 13″ MacBook screen which is too much. I know that TweetDeck is -very- configurable but I did not feel up to the task. Additionally, TweetDeck notifications are not handled via Growl.


Yoono, like TweetDeck, immediately took over my screen with absolutely nothing, asking me to configure my ‘columns’ from scratch. Too much hassle.


After trying all these clients I went back to Tweetie. It may not be perfect but I’m too used to it. I’ll probably switch to Nambu sometime soon. Both Echofon and Nambu I will recommend to people when asked for Twitter client advice.

Update July 12th: I’ve switched to Nambu and I’m not switching back. Keyboard navigation is excellent (although a bit buggy at times). I do miss Tweetie’s Command-U to look at a specific user, but otherwise Nambu seems superior in many ways. I’ve updated the Nambu review above to account for bugfixes they made since.