I’ve been using Tweetbot for two months now on the Mac and I was very excited to get it. I was very happy with the iOS app and most users seem happy with the Mac app; so I jumped in too. After quite a bit of use, I have to say I don’t think it’s worth the high price tag.
I’m a big fan of Echofon on the Mac and have been using it for years. We nearly lost Echofon when the Twitter API changed. At that time, I did a lot of research into alternatives. Then, at the last-minute, Echofon developers revived the Mac app. Even so, I got caught in the Tweetbot hype and finally purchased it.
Now TweetBot is a beautiful app and I know many people love it. There are some things it does well, but there are some smaller things that I think hurt the functionality.
One of Tweetbots big features is the ability to have multiple columns. This is similar to TweetDeck, however, the columns never scroll. In TweetDeck you can have 10 columns and you scroll left and right. In Tweetbot, you must have enough screen real estate for all your columns or you’re out of luck. Granted, you can spawn new windows, but I like having just one window.
In Tweetbot, tweets in a conversation are no different from any other tweet. Because of this, you have no idea if you’re reading a part of a conversation or just a random tweet. You have to go into the tweet to find out. In Echofon, they put a little conversation bubble on the tweet so you know there is more to the conversation. This is a handy feature.
Tweetbot does a good job at notifying me of new followers, but only via a notification. In the app, it’s difficult to find out who that new follower is. In Echofon, the new follower notification shows up right in my timeline and makes it very easy for me to see who’s new, check out their profile, and follow them if I want to.
Same goes for favorites. Echofon shows them to me inline.
One of my favorite features about Echofon is the ability to highlight tweets. I can put in as many keywords as I want and any tweets with one of those keywords in it will be highlighted in my timeline. This is extremely helpful when catching up on Twitter as I can skim past a bunch of tweets quickly and those tweets that I may want to read stand out.
I will say that Tweetbot wins with design. It’s a beautiful app that I want to love, but functionality beats out beauty. Echofon is a nice looking app, but not as nice as Tweetbot.
I understand that developers need to get paid and that Tweetbot has some issues with Twitter, but $20 with no free trial is hard. I don’t think I would have purchased the app if I could have tried it first. Echofon on the other hand has a free version that has ads (not annoying ones) and a paid version for $10.
For now, I think I’m going to go back to Echofon on my Mac. I love the app and the features. Tweetbot is good but not great for me. I think the hype is bigger than the app, however with a few tweaks, it could get there.
I’ll keep an eye on Tweetbot, just as I do on TweetDeck, Twitterrific and the official Twitter app, but for now, I’m sticking with Echofon on my Mac.
I’m also going to check it out on iOS and see if I can keep everything in sync with Echofon just as easy as Tweetbot does.