Twitteriffic 4.0: Can It Compete With Free?

As Mac users, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Twitter clients. With so many choices, and so many good choices, I’ve had to try almost all of them and I still haven’t settled on just one!

Twitterrific has always been a main contender in the native-app arena, with a slick interface, lots of features and constant development. With a multitude of free options coming available recently (notably Twitter for Mac), Twitterrific has had to step up their game with recent 4.0 release, and they haven’t disappointed.


First off, Twitterrific is gorgeous. It has a sidebar navigation style (sidebar can be toggled with ⌘ + L) with the familiar timeline, mentions, messages, favourites options, and an avatar at the top which allows you to switch accounts.

Twitteriffic 4 nicely balances the addition of new features with a sleek, minimal interface. There’s also a sexier, darker theme you can switch to under preferences.

Multiple accounts are only supported in the full, paid version. However, most other features are available in the free ad-supported version.

Main interface, dark and light themes

The sidebar also has trending topics, which is fun. Unfortunately, Twitterrific doesn’t support location-based trending (I was hoping to see pictures of wind-storm damage in Toronto!) but I don’t think any other twitter clients do either, at the moment.

Twitterrific’s interface focuses on maintaining a single window with only updates, and shows additional information (profile information, linked images, hashtag searches) in unobtrusive little pop-up windows.

I actually love this approach, you never lose your place or have to navigate back to the main feed with a back arrow, you can stay focused on what you were reading. My only minor complaint is the lack of “close” button on the pop-ups, you just close them by clicking anywhere outside the window, which is a little unusual.

Pop-up window

profile pop-up window

New Features

Twitterrific 4 adds a number of features missing from previous versions, as well as some great unique features that set it apart from the pack.

Colour Coding

Twitterrific colour codes retweets, DMs, mentions and your own tweets so you can view everything clearly in one timeline. It’s a useful, obvious feature that I’m surprised isn’t more universal in other Twitter clients.

Colour-coded timeline


One very handy feature is the ability to translate tweets to your native language from within the app (just click the gear icon when you hover on a tweet). I just tested this with an Italian tweet, and the author says it’s legit!

Translate tweets

Translate tweets

“New Tweet” Options

The “New Tweet” box adds a couple new options including image/video uploading and URL shortening. Twitterrific makes uploading media to twitter as easy as sending an email attachment. Just browse from the “Compose” dialog, and your image is uploaded to your favourite twitter image site. You can also choose to shorten all links in your tweet with the press of a button using or cloud app.

Adding a new tweet

Conversation View

Easily view a conversation between tweeters in a pop-up window, without navigating away from the original tweet. Very useful for quickly getting the context of a tweet or figuring out what someone is responding (angrily?) to.

Conversation view

Conversation view

Keyboard Navigation

Twitterrific features extensive keyboard navigation options which are pretty intuitive and very useful. In addition to the familiar ⌘ + N for new tweet, you can perform actions on selected tweets such as reply, translate, and view conversation.

You can navigate timelines using arrow keys, so for you keyboard-shortcut fanatics, you shouldn’t have to touch your mouse. Check out a full list of shortcuts on the Twitterrific Website.

Other New Features

  • Instapaper Support
  • Tweet actions contextual menu: email tweet, show replies to author, copy link
  • View saved searches
  • Multi-account support (paid version)

What’s Missing?

Not much. Twitterrific is about as fully-featured as a twitter client can be, but there are some minor exceptions that hopefully will one day be updated.

One thing that will certainly have users complaining is the lack of auto-completion for twitter user names. The browser version has this feature, and it always saves me when I can’t remember if someone’s user name is first initial, last name, or the other way around!

Also missing is in-app modification of many account preferences, such as list management and profile editing. Again, not a huge deal, but it can be annoying to have to sign in again in the browser to make changes.

Other minor irritations, such as lack of localized trends, the aforementioned lack of pop-up window close button, and limited notification customization, are pretty minor, and likely not deal-breakers for most.

The Competition

I’d say the major competition for Twitterrific is Twitter for Mac, since it has the most similar feature set and seems to be very popular. In terms of features, Twitter for mac and Twitterrific are extremely close. Twitter for Mac lacks the translation feature which is surely key for some users, but has similar keyboard navigation, a beautiful interface, and multiple account support. One thing I much prefer about Twitterrific is the use of pop-up windows for photos, profiles, etc.

Twitter for Mac, Nambu, Kiwi and Twitterrific

Other similar clients include Nambu and Kiwi. Nambu has a similarly beautiful, classic mac interface, has a similar feature set, and unlike Kiwi and Twitterrific, is completely free without ads. Kiwi has the unique feature of browser-like tabs at the top, which I think reflects the way a lot of us are used to using applications. It also has a decent feature set and interface, but I find the unread tweet count to be inconsistent and glitchy.

If you want to know more about the extensive options in this category, check out The Ultimate List of Twitter Software for Mac.


Twitterrific 4.0 is a great update with powerful features and clean, minimal design that will please both casual followers and power users.

In comparison with similar, free clients Twitter for Mac and Nambu, however, I don’t think Twitterrific offers anything particularly unique in terms of features, but it executes these features at least as well as (and sometimes better than) its free counterparts.

Personally, though I enjoyed my few days with Twitterrific, I think I’ll forgo the $10 update to the full version and switch back to Twitter for Mac.

That being said, it’s definitely worth trying out, the ad-supported version is free and nearly fully-featured, so you have nothing to lose. What are your thoughts on the Twitter client war? What do you look for in an ideal Twitter client?


A user-friendly Twitter client with a slick, minimal interface and a powerful set of features.