Two years ago the US tech blog ReadWriteWeb published our analysis of the most popular Twitter apps according to the blogosphere. Since then, Twitter has grown, some apps have disappeared, others have evolved. We think it is time to have a closer look again.
Using data from our blog search engine we decided to find out which Twitter clients are getting the most buzz on blogs. The result is a list of the most popular 3rd-party Twitter-apps according to the blogosphere, based on blog mentions between April and June this year.
Since we did not want to compare apples with oranges, we thought it would the best to ignore all those apps that can connect and publish to Twitter, but that are not real, fully functional Twitter clients for reading and writing to the microblogging service. That’s why the following list does not include location based services, Blog platforms or photo/video sites capable of accessing Twitter. Instead, we are focusing on feature-rich Twitter clients, because this is where you have to choose from when using Twitter in a serious way.
Top 5 Overall
In 2008, the ranking looked totally different. Only one of the Twitter apps creating the most buzz in the blogosphere back then is still part of the 2010 edition: Twitterrific, rank 4 in 2008, rank 5 today. The others got either abandoned (like Terraminds micro search), let alone by the developer after being acquired (like twhirl), or do not qualify anymore since they are no fully equipped Twitter clients – in 2008, we included other services like photo sites or search engines for Twitter as well, since unlike today, at that time not every Social Web platform had a Twitter integration.
Top 5 Desktop Clients
Same here as in the Top 5 Overall list – only Twitterrific (Mac only) is still going strong, but fell one position (from 2 to 3). The other 4 most popular apps from 2008 – thwirl, Snitter, Tweetr (now an iPhone app) and Twitteroo – do still exist, but apparently lost the blogosphere’s attention, which now has other darlings.
Top 5 Web Clients
None of the top apps from 2008 is still in this year’s list. Back then we actually didn’t have a single fully functional Browser client included, simply because they didn’t exist yet. Instead, photosite mobypicture, blog-to-Twitter service twitterfeed, the 2 Twitter search engines Terraminds (abandoned) and Summize (acquired by Twitter) and the Twitter keyword aggregator twistori made it into the Top 5 in 2008.
Top 10 Mobile Clients
In 2008 it was pretty difficult to find a decent mobile app for Twitter, and our analysis showed that there were fewer blog posts written about mobile Twitter apps in relation to other categories. Fast forward to 2010 and things are completely different. There are many great mobile clients for different platforms available, which is why we decided to extend this year’s list to Top 10. Just for the sake of completeness, the most buzzed about mobile apps in 2008 were Hahlo, Cetwit, Twitter Answers, Twapper and Twittai.
Notes and Methodology
We used this and this list of Twitter apps as a basis and we analyzed all mentions in blogs across the world from April 1 to June 30. In some cases the number of valid mentions was smaller than the one we found, simply because of backlinks created by some apps that published from Twitter to blogs, like “via App XYZ”.
Also, some of the apps are available for several platforms, like Seesmic which you can use in the browser, on your desktop and on different mobile platforms. Since it was not always possible to conclude to which version of Seesmic a mention referred to, we can only give you the overall picture of how popular Seesmic is across all platforms. Please also note that a mention not necessarily is a measure for quality, and that sudden spikes in the number of mentions could be caused by major news, like the acquisition of a service.
So while our list is not the one and only, definite way of ranking Twitter clients, it illustrates which of the 3rd party apps for Twitter are creating the most buzz in the blogosphere. And as a sidenote we can assure you that all clients in the list are actually pretty good and worth trying. So in the end, the blogsphere seems to be good judge.