E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

@Janetter or How I Started to Enjoy Twitter Once Again


There used to be a time when I was very much in love with Twitter. It was my favourite social networking tool by far. It was quite an exhilarating experience being constantly exposed to some of the most amazing conversations and informal learning at its best. To me, it was *the* place to provoke plenty of facilitated serendipity to take place and keep in the know with all of that stuff one gets passionate about over the course of time. But then, after a short while, I started hating Twitter. Perhaps a bit too harsh of a word, maybe loathe could do.

Over the course of just a few weeks Twitter managed to destroy, in a very pernicious manner, not only the overall user experience, but the entire ecosystem as well that made it a success in the first place: Third party apps. And it totally hit me when I saw my all time favourite Twitter client (Nambu) disappear into thin air just because of that series of misbehaviours. Fast forward to the end of 2011 and I am back in love with Twitter again, not because of all of the various different new features and capabilities they have been putting together, but because I have finally found The Best Twitter Client On The Net: Janetter.

Yes, that’s right! It surely looks like Twitter continues to be keen on destroying not just the Third Part Apps ecosystem that made it incredibly popular in the first place, but also some of its own desktop clients like Twitter for Mac or TweetDeck, where the latest upgrades have deteriorated the user experience for both of them tremendously altogether! Or so I am told. The thing is though that ever since I started making use of Janetter my overall user experience has seen quite a profound transformation.

It was through my good friend Rachel Happe that I first heard (Of course, on Twitter!) about this very special Twitter client that works both in Windows and on the Mac. She liked the experience and right away I thought about giving it a try myself, after having been actively searching for a good substitute for Nambu throughout all of this time playing with a bunch of other Twitter clients whether on the Mac or on iOS devices. And right off, within the first few hours I knew that Janetter would be my new, much preferred, default Twitter client on the Mac. What a beautiful experience, indeed!

I realise most of you folks would notice how I hardly ever get to talk about (Productivity) Tools and such on this blog, since I have always thought that they usually come and go and it’s very hard to get attached to any of them over the course of time, because you never know when they will go ahead and disappear. But since a bunch of people have been asking me what I like so much about this particular Twitter client why not put together this blog post and share some of the most compelling reasons why I have been enjoying it since day one that I installed it. At the same time, there have been a few other folks who have tried it out themselves, after I mentioned on Twitter myself how much I enjoyed it, and they didn’t like it at all. They actually thought it was a horrendous experience, so perhaps this article would help me share across some of the main reasons why Janetter is, to me, as good as it gets with regards to Twitter clients on whatever the platform. Hopefully, with that input it would give you a pretty good idea on whether you may want to give it a try or not.

So here are some of the most compelling reasons why I heart Janetter as my all time favourite Twitter client, even way above than Nambu, from back in the day:

  • Cross-Platform: Indeed, no matter whether you may be using Windows, or Mac, it would work in both just beautifully! Time and time again I kept finding it a challenge recommending a Windows client that would not be TweetDeck, which is, I guess, what most folks tend to use at the moment. And now we have got a pretty good and rather impressive rival: Janetter. (Yes, I do realise there isn’t a version for Linux users at the moment, so those folks may need to continue using whatever tool they may have at the moment)
  • Scalability: You could probably say that I’m a power user of Twitter, and perhaps of several other social networking sites, too, and one of my favourite features from Janetter itself is how scalable it is! It’s amazing! I have been using it rather heavily over the course of a few weeks now, with large networks and rather complex searches, and not a single glitch to be observed with the overall performance of the application or the machine altogether, which is not the same I could say about a bunch of other Twitter clients or even other social networking sites’ Apps. That’s a winner for me, specially, if you are a heavy user of Twitter yourself. Worth while a try just for that!
  • Reliability: Another one of my favourite features from this Twitter App. Like I said, I use it daily rather heavily and, probably, in the most extreme of circumstances hacking different behaviours and I have yet to see, and experience!, the first crash on the Mac! And that’s been weeks of long and lasting use already! Like I said, not a single one!! Not sure what you would think about it, but that’s what reliability is all about in my books, don’t you think?
  • The Look & Feel: This may well just apply to Mac Fanboys, but one of the things you would very much like from this Twitter App is that it behaves and works in pretty much the same way than any other native Mac App, which is a lot to be said for an application that’s developed to work cross-platforms. The time dedicated to make it look and feel like a native Mac App is just priceless. It doesn’t give you the impression, at all!, that you may be using a Windows copy! No way! A big Yes!!
  • Customisation: This is an area that I know most folks would not care much about it, but I love it. Being capable of customising my own user experience of what I see and play with is just a tremendous bonus! The wide range of Skins with multiple colours, displays, fonts, etc. etc. and the extensive User Preferences to tame the experience to your own likes and dislikes, needs and requirements surely is quite a treat! And something that you hardly ever see on Twitter Apps at all these days.
  • Like TweetDeck: But … without the hassle. That’s pretty much how I basically describe Janetter when people ask me about it. It’s like TweetDeck but without all of those issues that keep crumbling the overall experience of Adobe AIR Apps (I had enough of the Kernel Panics, so I no longer use AIR on my MacBook Air and everything running smooth again!). Any kind of problem or issue you can find in TweetDeck it’s fixed in this Twitter App, for real! Seriously, if you are looking for a pretty impressive alternatively to TweetDeck on the Mac, or on Windows, take it for a spin and see how it would work out for you. I can probably guarantee you won’t be back ever since…
  • The Timeline: I guess at some point I should probably go ahead and put together a short screencast of how I use the Twitter Timeline to quickly scan through tweets and pause through those I would really want to digest and muse further about and when to speed up and move on. But if you try out Janetter youself you will see what that experience looks like to me at the moment. As easy as it can get and using something so relatively simple, yet so powerful as keyboard strokes to advance on reading tweets, as well as natural scrolling (Up or down or both!) without seeing the application come to a hault! No matter how fast you go! Just brilliant!

  • The Groups: This is probably the one single feature that most folks who use TweetDeck today, or any other Twitter client that allows you to gather twitterers by groups, would enjoy very much and by far! Creating groups in Janetter is just such a breeze! Groups as in Twitter Lists, obviously; if you have created them already, it’s just as simple as displaying them and they will stick around pulling a bunch of initial updates to let you know how things are going, and then move from there. You can mark them all as read, if you would wish to as well, and you can have a whole bunch of columns without a single glitch on the overall performance itself. Very powerful and strongly recommended for power users, for sure! 

  • The Mentions: If you have been following me on Twitter for a while, over at @elsua, you would probably know how Twitter Mentions is my most simple, and long standing, grieving of my overall Twitter use. I have been complaining about how poor the accuracy of the Mentions is overall and time and time again we have seen how Twitter itself seems to be not very keen on wanting to address the issues and fix them. Well, no longer needed. Janetter did just that for me, allowing me again to catch up properly with those Mentions by not missing any of them! Pretty consistent and rather reliable! Not sure how they do it, but it just works! And thanks much for that!!
  • The Searching Capabilities: Whether you are searching for specific terms, whatever those may well be, even with complex searches, or following a particular hashtag (Like I am about to do with #ls12 and #connect12 when I get back to work – More on that soon!) Janetter’s searching capabilities and real-time searches are just superb! Not matter how busy the Search timeline may well be, it will keep up with it and provide you with all you need. Just like that. No need to figure why this or that search doesn’t work, or why it doesn’t pull off updates. It just does it and beautifully! And in columns, too!! Which means that’s rather easy to keep up with them in a single view without having to go click, click, click.
  • Following Conversations in Context: For those of us who have always considered Twitter one of the hottest places out there in the social networking sites realm for holding conversations on a wide range of topics, this Twitter client would be incredibly helpful and very powerful, because as you engage in conversations with other twitterers you would have an opportunity to catch up with them without having to go elsewhere. They are right there, embedded as part of the tweet stream, and in a rather beautiful and elegant manner, which is certainly everything, but disruptive, and that is what it should all be about! No longer will you be missing out on conversations in context while you are tweeting away! Fantastic and very much needed altogether!
  • An ecosystem on its own: Where viewing and displaying Twitter related data from other Twitterers, like their profiles, their latest tweets, the following, etc. etc. or the pictures and videos they keep sharing along works like a charm; embedded right there within the same window and with an opportunity of, once again, not having to go anywhere else, which means you can keep tweeting along without having to worry as to which window you were at at that very moment. Love how it takes tweeting in context into a new level altogether!
  • Muting Options: Yes, I know, I know, plenty of times I have been enjoying some serious rounds of twitterrhea myself, specially, when I am live tweeting conference events, and time and time again folks keep wondering how to mute me for a (long) while. Well, Janetter offers that opportunity, right there, in the Application itself and with a good number of options. So if you ever need to mute any of your social networks it will do the job just beautifully, which means you can keep your focus where you would want it to be, instead of getting distracted unnecessarily. Priceless, don’t you think?
  • Support of Multiple Accounts: Ohhh, and if you have multiple Twitter accounts, this App would help you manage each of them rather elegantly as well. Now, I now longer need to worry about that one myself, but if I were, I would surely make use of it, instead of having to go for more costly options to try to achieve the very same thing. Very nicely done altogether!
  • Local Cache: This is perhaps my all time favourite feature from any of the Twitter clients I have used over the course of the years. From what I know it’s not even available for the vast majority of them, but, to me, it’s become an essential key feature I cannot longer live without. We all know that it’s almost impossible to keep up with the Twitter streams, so we eventually get to dive in every so often to see what’s happening. Well, Janetter takes that into a new level. It allows you to cache all of the tweets, so you can catch up with them, if you would want to!, at your own pace and rhythm. If you have got a special group of twitterers that you would always want to read all of their tweets this client would allow you to do that easily!

    I love it particularly when I’m travelling, or away from the computer for an extended period of time, and would come back wanting to learn what’s happened on my Twitter streams and there it goes… all of them (In the hundreds, or the thousands!) available with a single scroll! Yes, I know you are not supposed to read them all, but sometimes, whenever time allows you to, you do, and it’s just such a treat having an App that fully supports it that overtime it’s become the one single main reason why I couldn’t live now without Janetter to keep up with those folks I’m keen on following up with. 

    Really powerful altogether to give you, the end-user, the ability to decide how much you would want to dive into your tweet streams without going crazy, but having a good grasp of what’s happening. Can you imagine Twitter allowing you to do that natively on their Apps or the Web interface? No, indeed, not a single chance! Massive kudos to Janetter in this regard, for sure!!

And, finally, perhaps the one single key favourite feature of them all. After all of what I have mentioned above, all of the reasons, features, capabilities and huge potential it offers to us heavy twitterers, I still find it quite amazing that Janetter is made free, as in FREE!!, for all of us. No doubt, even if they would ask us for money I think it’d be the best money spent on any Twitter client out there by far, I would buy a copy of it in a split second and without thinking too much about it!, but the folks behind it have made it available to us all free of charge, which is just probably as good as it gets!

That’s about it, folks, here you have got in a single blog post the various many reasons why I’m now back in love with Twitter, not because of Twitter itself, or the technology behind it, but because thanks to the absolutely delightful user experience of Janetter I’m capable of doing something that in the last few months I kept struggling with time and time again: following, digesting, and learning plenty more in good context from the tweet streams of my favourite social networks, which, eventually, is the main reason of why Twitter exists for most of us and I am happy to see how this Twitter App is making that possible. At least, for me. Hope for you, too! If you have found this blog entry useful enough to take it for a spin, let me know in the comments what you think and whether it’s helping you transform the way you interact with Twitter, like it has done with me so far and big time …


Ohhh, and in case you may be wondering what would be my favourite iOS clients for both iPad and iPhone, for when I am on the road, away from my MacBook Air, that would be Osfoora HD for the iPad and the native Twitter for iPhone client. But, once again, they are not the same as the real thing, which is why I do seriously hope that some day we would be able to see Janetter entering the iOS world helping us redefine that mobile Twitter user experience once again! I very much look forward to that!

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  1. I’ll try it! Since Mixero stopped working I tried TweetDeck but didn’t really like it. Maybe this will get me back on Twitter. Thanks Luis.

    1. Hiya, Tony! Whoaahhh! Catching up with the thread of comments over here after quite a few months of hectic activities at work… So, how did it go? Did you eventually make use of Janetter and started playing with it and did it stick around? I would love to know whether it helped you dive into Twitter more regularly or not… What do you think?

  2. I am using Tweetdeck either in my android phone and under Linux (with Chromium). But when having a look at the full tweets timeline I would like to have something that keeps in sync what you have viewed and what not. Does not happen with TweetDeck.
    Any idea/suggestion?
    As per your post, if I was using Windows or MAC I would surely jump into Janetter.

    1. Hi Norbert, catching up with this thread of commentary after sheer madness unleashed at work and still non-stop. Either way, not sure about that behaviour on TweetDeck and how you would want to reproduce it. I know that Janetter provides you a lovely interface towards catching up with tweets in your tweet stream allowing you to work right from where you left things off and it surely is worth while a try. Apologies that’s not available for Linux at the moment, but hoping it may well be pretty soon, because it’s totally worth it!

  3. I’m using Janetter on my laptop and i really love it, and hopes it will come for iPhone and iPad too,soon.

    1. Hi Hilde, thanks a lot for reaching out and for the feedback! Glad you are enjoying it and me, too, wish Janetter would be available on iOS devices, although over there I am rather happy at the moment with TweetBot for both devices. Amazing App as well and although it’s not free it surely is worth while the money! One of the best, most powerful Twitter Apps on iOS that I have used in years! Highly recommended! 🙂

  4. Interesting app, thanks for writing about it! So I just created a new list. In Tweetdeck I could bring up everyone I followed and just start moving people into the list. How do I add users to a new list? I can’t figure out how to do that except to bring up one user’s individual profile, do it there, then go to another one. That will take forever.

    Gotta be an easier way.

    1. Hi Rick, thanks much for the kind comments and for the feedback! The way Janetter works is by creating those lists based on Twitter Lists, in fact, the groups it creates are just Twitter Lists, so you would have to add folks in groups as Twitter Lists and then Janetter will pick them up right away and work with them accordingly.

      So if you have got Twitter Lists you would be already sorted out. If not, you can create them directly from the Twitter.com site, or, indeed, going from one profile to another. There doesn’t seem to be a bulk mode capability in place at this point in time, or at least, that I may have seen…

    1. Hi Camille, if you go into the following link you would be able to download Janetter from there for Windows and work with it. It’s freeware so you should be able to download it right away and install it… Hope that helps …

  5. I’ve downloaded Janetter yesterday & I love it! I love the fact that it’s so customizable, I really care how my twitter interface looks.
    I’ve been used tweetdeck, but it disappointed me after the update where the bird’s color changed from yellow to blue. It also didn’t let me see my followers, witch also disappointed me cause I follow back. And it was slowing down my computer

    But Janetter has none of those glitches & it’s great 🙂

  6. Your article convinced me to try out Janetter, and so far I love it. I’m also a “power user” and the thought of not being able to do something as simple as change the display font in TweetDeck or MetroTweet really bothered me. Thanks for the great suggestion!

    1. Hi there! You should be able to delete the tweet by pressing on the Preferences “wheel” and select from there “Delete Tweet”. Notice how, obviously, you can only delete your own DM responses from Twitter, and not everyone else’s, I am afraid. But you should be able to see that option under the Preferences “wheel”

  7. thanks.. However, majority of the other twitter clients allows you to delete all your DM’s irrespective if it is your one or not

    1. I know, but there is not much that I can do about that one, I am afraid. You may want to reach out to the developers through Twitter, where I know they are very responsive and ask them to perhaps incorporate that capability from other Twitter clients. It doesn’t bother me too much since I never had that need to delete DMs. Hardly use them, I am afraid. So reach out to them and see what they may well say about adding that capability. Good luck!

  8. Is there a way to add a column showing your followers? I think I can get used to Janetter after switching from tweetdeck but that is the one thing I miss. Well, that and the ability to unfollow/block/block and report for spam with one click.

    1. Hi Beth, not necessarily on a column where you can easily see them (I agree with you it would be really cool!), but you should be able to display your Profile from the File > My Profile option and see the # of following and followers right from there. Perhaps worth a look, if you haven’t checked it out just yet …

      I agree as well with the option to block, unfollow as a single click. Alas, it’s a couple of other extra clicks, so I think we would need to adjust to it a little bit, but other than that, rock solid! I am hoping Janetter can keep up providing us with such a good experience. Best by far from the options available out there.

      Thanks again for dropping by!

    1. Hi Ray, yes, certainly, it would allow you to have as many columns as you would want to work with from both Twitter Searches, as well as Twitter Lists, that’s how I am using it myself eventually and how I have been using it all along 🙂

      Hope that helps…

    2. Yes, as on Tweetdeck it will show any tweet that contains that users account name.
      If you are using the pc version, click the magnifying glass search symbol, in ‘new’ enter the user you want (leave off the ‘@’) a column will be added to the right hand side of your existing columns with that name at the top. If you want to move the column click on it at the bottom and drag it.

  9. Hi. I have a question about favoriting tweets using Janetter. Sometimes when i’m stopped on a tweet and hit the “F” key, the tweet gets favorited. But other times, hitting “F” brings up a dialog box asking whether i want to favorite or unfavorite the tweet. I can’t figure out why the difference.


  10. Since Tweetdeck mobile has stopped working I’m trying to find another close to it. Janetter seems really close. But how do I add colums? I want a colum of just the tweets I have favorited.

  11. hey there!
    have been using janetter pro for exactly the same reasons you are pointing out in your post.

    Now, well, twitter changed a lot of their app-policices and tada, can´t use janetter/desktop) anymore. it says “no way to register new accounts…”
    where wondering if you suffer the same and if you maybe found a workaround. ´cause twitter 4 sure is a whole lot more fun in janetter, than using their webpage.

    thx for any suggestion!

    1. Hi Linda, many thanks for reaching out and for the feedback comments. Indeed, Twitter misbehaved a little bit a while ago resulting in Janetter not having enough Twitter API tokens and eventually not allowing you to install it again from the scratch, which I guess is what it has just happened to you. I am afraid I haven’t got a single workaround for it other than move along into other Twitter clients and see if they would match close such wonderful experience of Janetter. So far the closest I have found to mimic some of Janetter’s behaviours and use cases is Tweetbot on the Mac or iOS devices. v3 is phenomenal and it certainly has transformed how I make use of Twitter clients. Worth while a look if you are looking for alternatives 🙂

      If I find another alternative just as good as Janetter is I will lt you know about it. Hope that helps …

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