![Essential Twitter Clients Apps and Tools](http://sanziro.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/essential-twitter-clients-apps-and-tools.png)
There are over a hundred Twitter clients, apps and tools you can choose to improve your twittering lifestyle. We narrow down the list to what we considered are the essential ones that is worth spending your time exploring.
### Twitter Clients
The number one Twitter client is off course the [Twitter website](http://twitter.com). To many, this is still the one and only Twitter client. You have to look elsewhere if you need more than what it offers, such as the ability to easily manage multiple Twitter accounts, ability to post a shorthand url etc.
If you like working on the web and need to easily post a link to pictures, then [visit TwitPic](http://twitpic.com/).
For desktop client on the Mac, we recommend [TweetDeck](http://www.tweetdeck.com/), [Twhirl](http://www.twhirl.org/), [Tweetie](http://www.atebits.com/software/tweetie/) or [Nambu](http://www.nambu.com/). Both TweetDeck and Twhirl runs on Adobe AIR which is a separate download. Choose native Mac apps Tweetie or Nambu if you do not like Adobe AIR eating up additional resources on your Mac. As of this writing, Nambu is still beta software but is available for download.
For iPhone apps, the better ones are [Tweetie](http://www.atebits.com/software/tweetie/) which costs $2.99, or you can download the free [TwitterFon](http://twitterfon.net/).
Many also choose to update their Twitter status via Facebook using [Facebook Twitter application]( http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2231777543). Service such as [Ping fm](http://ping.fm/) helps you to simultaneously update not just Twitter status, but also to over 40 other social networking sites.
### Search & Filters
Search and filters are critical in order to make sense of and to track the large amount of tweets. Twitter’s own [Search tool](http://search.twitter.com/advanced) is realtime search and is impressive and fast.
[Tweetizen](http://tweetizen.com/) tries to organize tweets using groups that you create. You define group by entering keywords or hashtags. Tweetizen then displays tweets that match your keywords/hashtags under the group. You can share your groups for other to follow.
[TwitterFall](http://twitterfall.com/) presents filtered results in a livestream manner. You can even adjust how fast you want the ‘falling’ tweets to appear.
[TwitterHolic](http://twitterholic.com/) lists the top ranking Twitter users based on number of followings. You can check your own ranking by entering your Twitter username.
[TweetStats](http://tweetstats.com/) display individual Twitter user’s statistics which includes usage pattern such as Tweets per hour, Reply Statistics etc.
[TweepleRank](http://www.tweeplerank.com/) ranks the top recommended users mentioned in the tweets with #followfriday, #mrtweet and #tweepletuesday tags.
### Hashtags & Directory
Like it or hate it, hashtags is the unofficial standard of tagging tweets. You simply insert one or more hashtags into your message. For example if your posting is about the iPhone, you can insert at end of your text the hashtag “#iphone”. This allows people to locate your tweet by seaching for “#iphone”. Twitter directory websites also categorize based on hashtags.
[Hashtags](http://hashtags.org/) displays directory based on hashtags as well as people who follow @hashtags. The home page shows the most popular hastags and drill-down will list the tweets tagged with the hashtag.
[GeoFollow](http://geofollow.com/) is a location based Twitter directory that also offer search and listing by hashtags.
[WeFollow](http://wefollow.com/) is ‘A User Powered Twitter Directory’. You add your Twitter account to the directory by specifying three hashtags that best described you. You will then be added to the directory under the hashtags.
### Follow Management
When someone follow you, Twitter will email you a notification with a link to the person’s Twitter profile. You can then visit the profile page to decide if you want to follow back or block the person. This together with the “following” and “followers” listing on Twitter.com website, might be all you need to manage your follows.
If you like to email and want to save up a few more clicks, visit [Topify](http://www.topify.com/). This service sends a notification email when someone follow you. Similar to that from Twitter.com. You can simply reply the email to follow back. You can also send Direct Message by replying to email.
[FriendOrFollow](http://FriendOrFollow.com/) helps you to find out 1. Who are you following that’s not following you back? 2. Who’s following you that you’re not following back?
[Tweepler](http://www.tweepler.com/) helps you reduce your Twitter clutter by allowing you to classify new followers into a ‘Ignore’ bucket. You can then process later if you want to follow back, and detailed profile info of these ‘Ignore’ followers are displayed for ease of decision making.
### URL Shortening
When you post a message via Twitter.com with a URL link of 30 characters or longer, Twitter will shorten it using [TinyURL](http://tinyurl.com/) by default. Shortening an URL is critical due to Twitter’s 140 characters limit.
If you want to use other URL shortening service while on Twitter.com, you have to manually create the shorten url and paste it in your message.
Most Twitter clients are able to automatically shorten your URL when you post a message. TweetDeck for example offers you more than 13 URL shortening service to choose from.
We recommend [bit.ly](http://bit.ly/), which allows you to track the click-through for the link you post on Twitter. You can even post Twitter messages directly from its website.
Note: Just when this article was about to be posted comes the news that [Twitter has switched to use bit.ly](http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/06/url-shortening-wars-twitter-ditches-tinyurl-for-bitly/) as its default shortening service.
### Link Aggregator
Link aggregators are services that track the URL links posted on Twitter. Similar to Digg, Reddit or Techmeme, but the source comes from Twitter’s tweet stream.
[Twitturly](http://twitturly.com/) tracks links people tweet and displays them based on popularity and freshness. You can tweet the link directly from its website.
[TweetMeme](http://tweetmeme.com/) is another link aggregator that monitor links that people tweet. Beside displaying the most popular links on its home page, it offers a live stream of link that has 5 or more tweets. It also groups the links into categories.
### Interesting Apps & Websites
Use [TwtPoll](http://twtpoll.com/) to create your own poll. It has a clean and simple user interface. [StrawPoll](http://strawpollnow.com/) is another Twitter based polling service with nice background themes.
[FAVRD](http://favrd.textism.com/) is a site that lists interesting tweet that has been declared as ‘favorite’. You can [learn more here](http://favrd.textism.com/about).
[TweExchange](http://tweexchange.com/) is a marketplace for Twitter members to exchange, buy or find Twitter usernames from other existing members. There is no clear indication if trading Twitter name is against Twitter rules.
[EatingAir](http://quotes.eatingair.com/) is a web app that display quote randomly selected from the public timeline of Twitter.
[Twitoaster](http://twitoaster.com/) turns your tweets into forum/message board topics. Message is threaded which makes conversation easy.
[StockTwits](http://stocktwits.com/) is a Twitter community for traders. Share and tweet your investment ideas.
Found anything else that should be in this list?