Why are there so many Twitter clients

Linux tweets: The best clients at a glance

Surprising for skeptics was the change of Twitter after the dead hype about social networks from a micro-blogging service to a brand new and often serious source of news from all areas. Personalities from the IT scene in particular usually prefer Twitter to other services and publish opinions, news or links to longer articles first there briefly and concisely in 140 characters. The 270 million active Twitter users produce half a billion tweets per day. Twitter runs everywhere these days when it comes to niche IT topics.

Since every Twitter profile is linked to a page on http://twitter.com, a web browser is sufficient for occasional reading. Active participation is also possible via the simple web interface. If you follow several Twitter accounts, Twitter quickly becomes confusing in the browser. Twitter clients that communicate directly with the service via the Twitter API are better suited. The following overview presents the most popular Twitter clients for Linux with their special features.

Gwibber: On the siding

The Twitter client for the Gnome desktop was part of the standard repertoire up to Ubuntu 12.04. In the meantime, Gwibber is considered out of date, as the developers fundamentally revised the client under the new name "Friends App" from 2013 onwards. Gwibber is still on board with some distributions, for example in Fedora 20. Gwibber is not only intended for Twitter, but also integrates other services such as Friendfeed, Statusnet and the status messages from Facebook. Gwibber displays the news in a main window, along with a logo of the associated service. A right click on the Twitter logo in a tweet allows replies, retweet, private replies and favorites. Sub-windows show replies, a tweet search, and an account search.

Conclusion: Gwibber is still usable on older distributions. But since Gwibber will soon disappear from the repositories of the last distributions, one should look around for an alternative.

More info:https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Gwibber

Turpial: Successful comeback

As a strong alternative to Gwibber, the lean Python program Turpial has already won many friends, until after version 2 this client became silent. Turpial reported back with version 3.0 at the beginning of 2014. Thanks to the support of GTK and Qt, the client integrates well into various desktop environments and displays an icon in the notification area. If desired, the program window offers a multi-column timeline, replies, direct messages, favorites and several Twitter accounts. Individual accounts can be temporarily muted. Turpial can handle multiple Twitter accounts and display them in parallel.

There is also an image uploader and URL shortener. Turpial 3.0 is available in the Ubuntu 14.04 / 14.10, Mint 17 and Fedora 20 repositories.

Conclusion: Turpial is an ideal replacement for Gwibber. The fast, comfortable Twitter client offers many functions and good integration with Gnome, Unity, XFCE and KDE.

More info:http://turpial.org.ve

Friends App: Standard in Ubuntu

The successor to Gwibber is called Friends App and is represented in Ubuntu 14.04 / 14.10 and its descendants. The client is now written in QML and kept in the style of Ubuntu Touch in order to cope with the future Unity 8. The “friends-app” package is available from apt-get and the software center. The surface is reminiscent of Gwibber, but is greatly reduced. The account settings are now under "System Settings -> Online Accounts".

In the program window, the Friends app, which is currently only in English, only shows a timeline and another tab for the messages in which you are mentioned by name.

Conclusion: In its current state (version 0.92) the program still has the character of betaware and looks unfinished. The Friends app is nice to look at, but not a worthy successor to Gwibber in terms of functionality.

More info:https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/applications/saucy/friends-app

Choqok: The client especially for KDE

With KDE, it makes sense to use KDE applications instead of GTK programs, as these can be better integrated into the desktop environment and use the existing standard libraries. The Choqok client is a mature KDE client for Twitter that has been maintained since 2008. According to the KDE philosophy, it is not minimalism that reigns here, but functionality. Choqok can log into multiple Twitter accounts at the same time. For a better overview, the program window is organized in tabs, with each account showing its own horizontal tab bar. In addition to the respective timeline, you will find the other categories of "Mention" for tweets addressed to you, inbox and outbox for private messages. Choqok is part of the KDE Software Collection 4 and is therefore available for installation via the package manager in all distributions with KDE. The current version is 1.4, which is available in Kubuntu 14.04 / 14.10 in the “choqok” package. The client is also interesting under Gnome, Unity, Cinnamon, XFCE, as long as the user accepts the installation of all KDE libraries as dependencies.

Conclusion: Choqok is the client with the best functionality under KDE and shows what a Twitter client has to be able to do on the Linux desktop.

More info:http://choqok.gnufolks.org

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