One of the amazing things about Twitter, when compared to a LinkedIn or a Facebook, is that it’s core functionality is so simple yet complemented with complexity by hundreds if not thousands of useful 3rd party apps because of its open architecture and growing ecosystem. Where you don’t really need any external tools to maximize your presence on LinkedIn or even Facebook for that matter, using external apps on the realtime platform for tweets can not only help save you time, it can also help you unearth critical business intelligence and allow you to truly maximize your presence for whatever business or professional objective you might have.
The funny thing is that it’s hard to find out which apps are out there and which of them are popular. There are many lists that have been created in the past, but I have found that many Twitter apps, even the beloved Mr. Tweet which I blogged about, no longer exist. On the other hand, there are some excellent Twitter directory websites out there, like oneforty, but there are so many tools listed it begins to feel like you’re a mouse in a maze looking for a morsel of cheese… I won’t even mention that there is still a continuous new flow of great Twitter apps into the market, including the promising Research.ly which was just announced yesterday.
As I proceed forward on writing my Twitter book, I wanted to share with you my initial findings on what the 25 most popular apps are so that you can concentrate on only those tools that others have found valuable because of their popularity. I have listed them below according to their ranking on Alexa, but I have also taken the privilege of omitting those that were either non-English (ごめんなさい！) or I felt were not necessarily useful from a business or professional strategic perspective. What remains are 25 apps that surprised me in their popularity. I am hoping through this exercise that you find a tool or two that you might not have heard of that will enrich YOUR Twitter experience.
Before I provide the list, be forewarned that apps that are popular mean that they get a lot of website visits. Some of these apps are websites that provide services that allow you to manage all of your social media platforms from one single dashboard (like HootSuite) or shorten URL links that you could use to track the effectiveness of your content on various social media platforms (like Bit.ly). I have tried my best to categorize these apps to give you a feel for alternatives if you are looking to move off your current app and try something new.
- Twitpic – Photo Sharing on Twitter Tool [no longer in business due to Twitter now supporting native photo uploads]
- Bit.ly – URL Shortener
- Yfrog – Photo & Video Sharing on Twitter Tool
- HootSuite – Browser-Based Social Media Client
- TweetMeme – Twitter ReTweet Directory
- Adf.ly – URL Shortener with Advertising
- TinyURL – URL Shortener
- Ping.fm – Social Media Status Update Management
- Paper.li – Tweet (and now Facebook) Digests
- Goo.gl – Google’s URL Shortener
- Topsy – Twitter Search Engine
- TwitterFeed – RSS to Twitter & Facebook Automation Tool
- Ow.ly – HootSuite’s URL Shortener
TwitCause – Help Support Causes (from the Experience Project)(no longer operating)
- Social Oomph – Twitter Automation & Management Tool
- TwitterCounter – Twitter Profile Statistics
- TweetDeck – Browser-Based Social Media Client (note that their PC client is more popular but does not show up as a website visit)
- MobyPicture – Photo, Video, Audio & Text Sharing in Social Media Tool
- Favstar.fm – Analyze Tweets by Number of Favorites & ReTweets
- Sponsored Tweets – Twitter Advertising
- Friend or Follow? – Follower Management Tool
- WeFollow – Twitter User Directoy
- Social Mention – Social Media Search Engine
- Seesmic – Browser-Based Social Media Client
- CoTweet – Browser-Based Social Media Client
If you have already heard and tried out all of these apps, you are a true master of tweeting! Regardless, if your URL shortener or social media client doesn’t appear on the above list, you might want to try out one of these popular apps for a test drive.
My Fave 5 from this list? HootSuite, TweetMeme (as a WordPress plugin), Topsy, TwitterCounter, and WeFollow. How about you?