My long time favourite twitter client TweetDeck now has a fierce competitor – Seesmic Desktop. Whilst this isn’t breaking news, I did want to use both side-by-side for a while before comparing and contrasting the 2.
Both built using Adobe’s AIR technology, the great thing is they both work on Mac, PC or even Linux.
Features are great on this one.. A panel for your main ‘All Friends” stream, replies, DM’s, Facebook and up to 10 search panels. Now although you are limited to 10, you can run monitor multiple search terms in each. For example.. To keep up to date about the console wars I have a panel with the search term “Xbox 360 OR PS3 OR Wii” This means any tweets about either of these 3 terms will show up, providing essentially a 3 for 1 deal.
Whilst the Facebook integration is handy to keep an eve on your friends status updates, it’s really lacking 2-way support. You can’t simply leave a reply or comment on someone’s status, and you don’t see any media in the stream. For both of these your going need to click on a user which will launch Facebook.com in your browser. Still it’s better than having to run separate twitter and Facebook clients. The ability to optionally post to both twitter and Facebook is a great time saver and means you don’t need to confuse your non-twitter friends with TweetSpeak.
For those ultimate power users who just can’t deal with the 10 panel limit, and also have multiple twitter accounts, Seesmic Desktop has got you covered. Searching and searching and searching I couldn’t find the limit for search panels on Seesmic Desktop – it seems infinite, but keep in mind it’ll chew through your RAM pretty efficiently, so if there’s not a software limitation, your RAM certainly will be.
Whilst it is only a ‘Preview’ Seesmic Desktop lacks the ability to customize the UI. Personally I like the darker apps, they’re easier on the eye, especially when watching it all day, like on a 2nd monitor.
With each of these apps accumulating multiple data streams or panels, these each take up memory. TweetDeck has been prone to a bad memory leak in previous versions. It seems to be fixed with the latest version – v0.25.
My preference is still TweetDeck for now, but for a first version, Seesmic Desktop is a great alternative.
Whatever your preference is, their both actively being developed, so get your feature requests into the developers and watch them evolution.