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How To : Tweetie

How To : Tweetie

A few months ago we found the holy grail of Twitter Apps in the form of Tweetie for  Mac. We counted down the hours on release day for this application and we weren’t disappointed.

Tweetie offers a really simple to use Twitter client offering multiple accounts, saved searches, advanced notifications and one of the best graphical user interfaces around. Threaded Direct Messages, easy photo support and the ability to open links in the background make Tweetie our ‘must have’ Twitter application for Mac.


Tweetie is available under two payment models. Firstly you can use the application for free with ad support, the ads appear in the tweet stream and generally don’t interfere with the user experience, actually it was only after a few hours of use I even spotted an ad. The second is to pay around ?14 to enable the ability to remove the ads (see 11).

The aim of this post is to outline the main Tweetie features and demonstrate just how simple the application is to use and how remarkably fully featured it is for such a simple bit of software.

1. Main account list
Tweetie supports multiple accounts and uses your Twitter avatar to represent each account on the list. Click on the avatar to reveal the twitter stream for that account.

2.  @ Replies
These are your replies, retweets and basically any other time someone mentions your Twitter username. notA blue dot will appear beside the @ sign to indicate new @replies but you can also configure Tweetie to change the dock icon and toolbar icon when new @ replies arrive.

When it comes to notifications Tweetie has covered it all. Menu bar, Dock and even Growl notifications and Tweetie gives you full control over what changes it tells you about.

The notification settings can also be different between Twitter accounts, so you can have Tweetie notify you of all changes to your main account and say only direct messages of an other.

3. Direct Messages
Direct messages are the private messages you receive from one of your followers. Unlike any other Twitter application we have used Tweetie displays direct messages as threaded conversations.

This is a really useful feature as quite often direct message conversations can happen over many days with long intervals between responses. Like @replies a blue dot appears when you have new direct messages waiting.

search4. Search
As well as offering the ability to search Twitter, Tweetie offers a few advanced search features. Clicking the search symbol lists the current Twitter trends, click on a trend (for example today  is a trending topic) to reveal the related tweets.

Tweetie also offers saved searches. Saved searches are listed with the number of search results, this is particularly useful if you have a topic of interest for example a the mention of your website. You can see instantly if there are any new mentions since your last view.

5. New Tweet
This is where you enter a new tweet and the same window is used when replying to other tweets. The tweet window offers a counter that lets you know the number of characters you have left. Unfortunately there isn’t an easy way of replying to more then one recipient yet.

6. Account dropdown
If you have more than one account in your Tweetie install you can decide which account your are tweeting from using the drop down. Tweetie defaults to the first account on the list. If you want to change the order of accounts both in the main window and in this drop down open the application preferences, click on accounts and drag the Twitter usernames around to change the order.

7. Options
The options drop down offers three key functions, the ability to Shorten URLs, Add Image, and record video. With only 140 characters to play with the ability to shorten URL (web addresses) down is essential. Paste a web address into a tweet, click the shorten url option and Tweetie does the rest. You can change the URL shortening service and photo hosting service within the preferences window.

ret8. Retweet options
Most people find they want to ‘retweet’ or ‘repost’ a tweet they have read in the Twitter feed. Tweetie allows you do repost a tweet by right clicking on it in the main window.  Some people prefer the RT @TotalAPPs option while others prefer to have a (via @TotalAPPS) at the end. Tweetie allows you to decide which notation suits you best. As you can see in the screenshot as well as re-tweeting you can reply, direct message
and even mark the tweet as a favourite.

9. Dim Previously Selected Tweets
If you follow a large number of users it can be confusing when the tweets come flooding in. Tweetie offers an attempt to make this more manageable by dimming previously viewed tweets.  I use this feature a lot and I tend to leave the scroll bar at the last read tweet so I can skim through recent tweets. If you want to ignore missed tweets Tweetie has the option of keeping the scroll bar at the top thus only showing the most recent tweets.

10. Open Links in Background
There is nothing more annoying than clicking a link and have your web browser appearing in front of the application you were using.  Tweetie allows links to be opened in the background which is particularly useful if you are scrolling down a large list of tweets and clicking a number of links.

Activating this option means each link opens in your browser (in a new tab). I tend to go through the tweets, click on a number of links and then peruse the opened sites in the browser. This has the added advantage that all sites have fully loaded by the time I go to view them.

11. Remove Ads
This option is obviously only available if you have paid for a license and entered your license code into Tweetie (File menu).

If you haven’t tried Tweetie yet then you are really missing out on one of the best Twitter applications we have used. You can download the free version of Tweetie from the Atebits website.

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