Tweetbot Gets a Media-Savvy Update

One of the best third-party Twitter clients just got even better.

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Harry McCracken /

For fans of third-party Twitter clients, these are depressing times. Twitter itself has decided it doesn’t want people using apps it didn’t write itself — it’s doing stuff to discourage their existence, though it’s never quite explained that fact to its users. It’s also killing off multiple versions of TweetDeck, once one of the most popular third-party apps.

So it’s a relief to see that Tapbots’ Tweetbot — my Twitter client of choice for iPhone and iPad — is not only still with us, but getting better.

What’s new in the Tweetbot updates for iPhone and iPad released today are features which make them a better way to peruse photos and videos folks share on Twitter. A new view, available for both your timeline and @replies, shows only tweets which include an image or a video, and shows them in a big, beautiful format. It makes Twitter feel a little bit like Pinterest, without making it into an unimaginative Pinterest knockoff.

In the standard timeline view and @replies list, photos and videos are shown as thumbnails. But if you tap on a tweet that includes an image or a clip, it expands to fill much of the screen (or, in the case of YouTube and other videos that Tweetbot can’t show natively, gets embedded in a browser view within the app).

I’d like to see some additional tweaks: the media view only identifies the Twitter user who tweeted something with a tiny, unlabeled profile image, so it can be tough to tell who’s who. (You can tap to see a tweet in a more standard format.) And it would be nice if it were possible to see the timeline in a hybrid view — one that showed all tweets, but used Tweetbot’s new format for the ones with photos and videos.

Tweetbot is $2.99. The iPhone and iPad versions are separate apps, so that’s a total of $5.98 if you want to use the app on both platforms, as I do. Having bought both versions when they were released, I’ve spent something like a grand total of a penny a day to be a Tweetbot user — which, as far as I’m concerned, makes it a remarkable bargain.