Searching for the perfect Twitter tool is a bit like searching for Shangri-La: You know it’s out there somewhere and you can find it if you just search hard enough.
I was a Twhirl addict for a long time, but recently switched to Tweetie as Twhirl was hammering my Mac’s processors a bit too much. Tweetie is more compact and has a better user interface, but there are things that it doesn’t do that Twhirl did.
Such is the way of Twitter clients. If you pooled all the features of all Twitter clients, you’d have all you need to create a spec for the perfect client, but no single client fits that bill yet.
When it comes to managing Twitter accounts in a business context, Tweetdeck is many people’s favourite, if only because it lets you save keyword searches. If you’re monitoring Twitter for mentions of your company, that’s invaluable functionality. But still has its drawbacks, including awful design and excessive demands on screen real estate.
CoTweet is a newcomer to the market, but already has an impressive feature set. Because it’s a web app rather than a local client, multiple people can manage multiple accounts. It also allows you to assign Tweets to a colleagues for follow-up action, with automatic email assignment notifications, and to make notes on individual Tweeters. That should help companies monitoring Twitter for customer care purposes make sure Tweets don’t fall between the cracks.
Other cute features include scheduled tweets and inline access to Bit.ly’s shortened URL stats so you can see how many people have clicked on a any given Bit.ly link.
CoTweet does need a bit of love and attention where usability is concerned, though. The interface is a bit confusing and, just like every other Twitter client, there are things that it could be doing but isn’t. I particularly like Tweetie’s conversation view, where when you click on a Tweet it will show you all the previous Tweets in that exchange, and I can imagine that might be useful for CoTweet users too.
Overall, though, CoTweet shows promise and provides a very different view of Twitter than most other clients. Definitely one to watch.