How bad is "Blue Bird" tweetdeck?
January 13, 2013 6:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to figure out what Twitter client I want for Mac OS.

I was a big fan of the old, Adobe Air, "yellow bird" Tweetdeck. Then Twitter bought it, changed it to "Blue Bird" and, by all reports, ruined it. I've stuck with the old Yellow Bird, until today.

I've had a lot of problems where, when I open it, it won't load any tweets for upwards of five minutes. But now it's been hours and nothing. I suspect this is Twitter throttling API "slots" for unofficial clients, in an effort to kill them all. But whatever the cause, it kind of sucks.

So, has "Blue Bird" gotten better, or is there another client I can use? I've heard everything about Blue Bird from "totally fine" to "unusable." All I really want is columns for tweets and mentions, and to be able to see conversation threads when someone replies to me. And to be able to post from multiple twitter accounts. FB support is nice too.


*I am aware there are previous questions re: Twitter clients, but none are especially new and this kind of information changes fast.
posted by drjimmy11 to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I know nothing of Blue Bird, but Echofon is the client I use on my Mac (and on all my devices, actually), and it's worked brilliantly for me with no issues.
posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo at 6:21 PM on January 13, 2013

Response by poster: Oh autcomplete when typing "@" and link-shortening are important too.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:22 PM on January 13, 2013

Response by poster: Joey, I will look at Echofon, thanks!
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:22 PM on January 13, 2013

Tweetbot is probably the best client for Mac but it's stupidly expensive for a Twitter client.
posted by Memo at 6:23 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: re: Echofon: if there's still a desktop version, they're certainly keeping it well hidden.

re: Tweetbot: that is what I use on my phone. I was all set to shell out $20 for the desktop app, since that's not a lot all things considered, until I read the reviews. Eek. That's a lot of money for something people seem to be having major major problems with.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:25 PM on January 13, 2013

Response by poster: Echofon has discontinued their desktop apps. I'm not keen on using a legacy program because, as we see with Yellow Bird, twitter is actively seeking to break them.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:27 PM on January 13, 2013

I haven't had any problems running an old Tweetbot version on my computer but I don't really use columns.

Maybe Janetter?
posted by Memo at 6:32 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

You're going to need to stick with the official apps, whether or not you like them, or prepare for a bumpy ride that gets increasingly worse. I don't know if you've read Twitter's infamous API update post, but it lays out very clearly that Twitter doesn't want third party clients:
Nearly eighteen months ago, we gave developers guidance that they should not build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience." And to reiterate what I wrote in my last post, that guidance continues to apply today.
They are going to do all they can to cut those clients off at the knees (user caps, API caps, etc), and in return most client makers are pulling back from hostile territory. A lot of it has to do with whatever plans Twitter is making for monetization, which third party clients would get in the way of.
posted by foxfirefey at 6:44 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Janetter, while unfortunately named, is free and seems to work and do everything I want. So I think we have a winner, for now at least.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:50 PM on January 13, 2013

Response by poster: I'm still in the market for something better though, Janetter just doesn't "feel" quite right.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:56 PM on January 13, 2013

Tweetbot on the mac has been nothing but roses for me. If you're already using it on your phone there is really no reason to put up with the other clients on the mac which, as you've discovered, are less than ideal.
posted by TimeDoctor at 7:06 PM on January 13, 2013

Best answer: Well I gave in and installed the "Blue Bird." It seems fine now. Whatever was broken in v1 seems to have been fixed.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:09 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

FWIW, Echofon mysteriously stopped supporting the desktop version. Everyone I know who uses it loves it, and I'm ticked I can't get it!
posted by radioamy at 11:37 PM on January 13, 2013

FWIW, Echofon mysteriously stopped supporting the desktop version. Everyone I know who uses it loves it, and I'm ticked I can't get it!

I think the answer to the mystery is "Twitter screwed third-party client developers making it not worth the hassle of supporting OS upgrades."

+1 for Tweetbot mac, but I don't use columns hardly at all, which is what I think of with tweetdeck.
posted by ndfine at 7:21 AM on January 14, 2013

I've been using the web version of TweetDeck on my Mac after v1 of "Blue Bird" stank it up, and I quite like it.

I'm using it in Chrome and I haven't tried the Chrome app yet.
posted by advicepig at 7:35 AM on January 14, 2013

Best answer: Just coming back to report on Blue Bird for future generations:

The version I downloaded yesterday is excellent in almost every way; it does everything Yellow did and a lot of new features.

I find only one "bug," which I suspect is a feature from Twitter's POV, because they're trying to limit API load:

If I go idle for a long time, like to go to lunch, it ceases streaming new tweets. When I return and interact with tweetdeck, tweets don't resume (though FB posts do; a clear signal they're cool with overloading over people's APIs).

You can fix it by right-clicking and choosing "reload" - sometimes. Other times it requires a restart of the app. Good news is, unlike Yellow, it restarts almost instantly.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:26 PM on January 14, 2013

I was also a fan of the old Air-based TweetDeck. I started using the new TweetDeck Mac app after Twitter did the last major release - the one where you could finally have black text on white, rather than having white text on black as the only option.

My only problem is a bit different than yours. I don't see it stop streaming tweets, even if I'm inactive for hours. But it drops tweets off the bottom of my columns, which is annoying for those of us who, oddly enough, try to read (or at least glance at) all our tweets.

I know people who dislike TweetDeck for the lack of keyboard shortcuts, but I use my mouse so that doesn't bother me.
posted by jeri at 6:19 PM on January 14, 2013

Best answer: One more update and I'll stop:

When streaming is paused, you'll see a tiny, almost-invisible blue semicircle perched on the top-left of your column. It has no tooltip or indication of what it is, but clicking it resumes tweet streaming.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:11 AM on January 15, 2013

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