Had he been around today, Hamlet may very well have mused: ‘To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question.’
Such is the success and ubiquity of Twitter that it seems to have outgrown its initial role as a ‘micro-blogging’ tool and become a primary method of communication and keeping ourselves informed.
The real question, therefore, is which Twitter client would the Prince of Denmark be using?
Windows Phone, of course, enables you to tweet without the need for installing any further apps, but nonetheless there are many Twitter clients available in the Marketplace for your Lumia smartphone.
We all use Twitter in different ways; maybe there is an app that suits your needs but is not particularly useful for someone who, for example, has to manage multiple accounts?
To help you pick the best Twitter app, here is a look at five of the clients in the Windows Phone Marketplace and picking out the best feature in each one.
It seems only fair that we start with the official Twitter app and it does the job if you just want something that’s simple and easy to use.
You swipe across each screen to show your timeline, mentions, messages or lists and you press the ‘pencil’ icon to compose a tweet, or the ‘envelope’ icon to write a direct message. The ‘search’ icon shows you trends, the top tweets, categories and your manual search results.
You can pin individual followers or lists to your start screen but there is not much in the way of live tiles.
This is a solid app that is perhaps a little uninspired, but all the same would suit most people’s requirements. Within settings, you can also add more accounts and control your notifications.
Favourite feature: One of the search options is called ‘nearby.’ This is a handy way of finding people that are tweeting in your area right now!
As a paid for app, you would expect Carbon to offer something more than the official Twitter app and it doesn’t disappoint.
One feature that immediately makes a big difference is the ability to see pictures and video without needing to leave your timeline. The Quick Line screen that gives you easy access to your lists, trends and searches is also an improvement.
Carbon also takes advantage of Live Tiles, so you will always be notified if you’ve been mentioned, or if you want to keep an eye on search results. Pinning a ‘compose’ tile to your homescreen so you tweet without even opening the application is another plus.
Favourite feature: Carbon rewards you if you take the time and effort to get to grips with it. Double tap a tweet to reply to it without leaving your timeline. Tap a tweet with two fingers if you want to retweet or quote from it.
Twabbit is another paid for app and, just like Carbon, you can try it before you buy, but some functionality may not be available or it will have adverts.
Twabbit is fantastic if you like to heavily customise your apps. You can change the settings for just about every feature of the Twabbit including your timeline behaviours, gesture controls and themes (change the theme in the paid app only).
Sometimes, it’s just a simple thing that makes all the difference: You are told how many new tweets have appeared in your timeline and they are also highlighted in red.
Favourite feature: The ability to ‘mute’ and ‘unmute’ your followers. This may seem mean-spirited and go against the spirit of Twitter, but it is undoubtedly handy. Plus, it’s still nicer than unfollowing or blocking them.
Rowi, Free or £1.29p
The free version of Rowi has the same features as the paid for equivalent except you’ll see adverts and there is no push notification.
What I really liked about Rowi is how easily you can configure the homescreen of the app. You can add or remove pretty much anything you want, including your lists or searches. You can even add another user’s timeline.
Tapping on tweets pops up a nice menu that gives you the options of replying to it, retweeting it, marking it as a favourite and so on.
Of all these Twitter apps, Rowi has perhaps the simplest and cleanest interface.
Favourite feature: Integration with Aviary lets you edit and enhance your photos before you tweet them.
Much like the People hub on Windows Phone, Seesmic aims to meet all your social networking needs within a single app.
It’s a fully featured client that is able to hold its own against the standalone Twitter apps considered above. The only glaring omission that I can think of (that is featured in both Carbon and Twabbit) is support for read later services like Pocket.
Where Seesmic is able to punch above the weight of its competitors is that you can also use it to access your Facebook account and post messages there as well. The well-thought out homescreen lets to configure it with Twitter timelines or messages and from Facebook, your newsfeed, inbox or a friend.
Favourite feature: Facebook and Chatter integration makes this a great app if you want to keep an eye on multiple social networks.
Do you have a favourite Twitter on your Lumia smartphone that you would like to recommend? Let us know in the comments below.
Image credit: Pen Waggener