Twitter Is Easier with Clients and Add-ons

January 26, 2009

in social networking

by Tina Gasperson

You’ve taken the plunge and signed up for Twitter, found some friends to follow, and you’ve bookmarked your profile page so you can remember to add regular status updates. Even so, sometimes it is hard to remember to visit yet another page frequently throughout the day, and if you’re out on the road, it may be impossible. What you may not have realized is that there are free tools available that make it even easier to use Twitter and make it a part of your daily routine.

One of the first tools you’ll want to acquire is a Twitter client. This is a small desktop application that works by using the Twitter protocol to grab your friends’ updates automatically once you start following them. All you have to do is download a client, install it, give it your Twitter login and password, and do some minor configuration. A few of the most popular Twitter clients are twhirl (runs on Windows and Mac), Twitterrific (for Mac only), and Tweetr (for Windows and Mac). If you use the Firefox Web browser, there is an add-on for Twitter called TwitterFox that sits in the browser’s sidebar and works the same way as other clients.

Another useful tool for Twitter is your mobile device. Link your phone number with your Twitter account, and then you can send text message status updates from wherever you are. You can also tell Twitter to notify your device when selected friends update their status or when you gain a new follower. If you have a Web-enabled device, visit Twitter’s mobile site at, or if you prefer to run a Twitter client, Twobile runs on Windows devices, and Twitter for iPhone is a scaled-down version of Twitter that runs on, you guessed it, your iPhone.

While you can’t upload photos directly to Twitter, you can link to them in your status updates. Twitpic is a service that makes it easier to do that. Once you link Twitpic to your Twitter account, you can upload photos from your mobile device or your desktop computer and Twitpic automatically sends a status update to your Twitter account along with a link to the photo. Many Twitter clients now have support for Twitpic built in, so look for this ability when you select a client.

With these useful Twitter tools, you’ll find it much easier and lots more fun to “Tweet” with success and become a full-fledged Twitterer.

Tina Gasperson (, affectionately known as Computer Lady by her family, has been writing about IT, home computing, and the Internet for more than a decade.