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What Is a Twitter App?

By V. Saxena
Updated May 16, 2024
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A Twitter application (app), also known as a Twitter tool or Twitter add-on, is essentially a website with an integrated programming script designed to complement the Twitter social networking website. In particular, Twitter apps provide Twitter users with the tools they need to better monitor their Twitter feed, manage their followers, respond to tweets, and perform other functions. There are thousands of Twitter apps to choose from.

Several hundred apps relate to multimedia. Twitter doesn’t natively support pictures, videos, or songs, but with a Twitter app a user can submit such content. These apps allow users to upload multimedia content to the app’s homepage, after which the app automatically posts the content to the user’s Twitter feed.

Another popular type of Twitter app is one that tracks Twitter trends, topics that are extremely popular. Twitter lists trending topics and hash tags on its search page, but individuals interested in a more comprehensive analysis can use Twitter apps to view the data visually. There are also tools that let users search through trends by typing in keywords, ranking trends by popularity, and narrowing them down by top-shared website addresses.

Since Twitter is a social network, many people use it make new friends. Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t provide a simple way to find people with similar interests or from the same geographic region. With a Twitter app, however, a user can create his or her own Twitter profile, submit it a directory, and then search that directory for similar people. Such Twitter tools also allow users to find people based on their area of professional expertise.

The most widely used Twitter apps are those that let users track and manage followers. Business users might employ such a Twitter app to track new followers, track what followers are doing, evaluate followers based on their popularity, and even invite many new followers all at once. The benefit to these apps is that they can give a user an inside look into their followers’ behaviors.

Another kind of Twitter app is a power user app. This is essentially an app that combines all the previous functions into one streamlined interface. Such apps can track users and trends, submit multimedia files, and create directory profiles. Power apps also allow business users and celebrities to manage multiple Twitter accounts all at once. Many of these apps are now available for multiple operating platforms, including mobile devices.

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Discussion Comments
By bythewell — On Dec 03, 2014

@pastanaga - The official app is usually quite limited though and basically just makes it easy to use the site in the regular way, but on a mobile device. Whenever you've got a popular social website like Twitter, you're going to have a wide variety of apps to choose from, but unless you are completely devoted to Twitter you aren't going to want to install every single one of them.

I would check out reviews, both online and in whatever store you're accessing, and figure out which app is going to do what you want it to do.

Remember that often apps for other purposes will have functions that mesh with Twitter (the most obvious example is a camera app that has a one-click method of publishing your photos on Twitter) so you won't necessarily need a single Twitter phone app that does every single thing you need, but you should try to get one that does most of it.

By pastanaga — On Dec 03, 2014

@umbra21 - The only problem with scripts is that they are usually running continuously and they tend to slow down the browser as a whole, which Twitter apps for Windows probably won't. They can also be buggy, which is a problem any time you deal with user-made content but tends to be more of a risk with scripts than apps, since there is some quality control involved in getting an app into a store. The official Twitter app in particular is obviously going to be of a higher quality than most unofficial apps.

By umbra21 — On Dec 02, 2014

If you want to get the same kind of accessibility from your laptop or desktop when using Twitter you can install scripts in your browser rather than using Twitter apps. A script is basically an app that works within the browser without you having to open a separate page.

I don't run many specifically for twitter, but I have some that work universally, like the one that enlarges images when you run your cursor over them. Greasemonkey is the site to checkout if you're interested in this.

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