TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop: a tough choice

awesomeEver since TweetDeck appeared on the Twitter scene in 2008, I’ve been a user and a big fan. Since then, it’s been the primary way I interact with Twitter on my computer desktop. Even though I don’t use many of TweetDeck’s bells and whistles beyond its core purpose – sending and receiving messages via Twitter – it remains my third-party Twitter app of choice on the desktop.

I could almost say the same about Seesmic Desktop, a competing app for interacting with Twitter (and, like TweetDeck, much more). I tried Seesmic Desktop when it first appeared last year. I liked it although as an early beta, it couldn’t really hold a candle to TweetDeck at the time. Things have moved on substantially since then and, today, its evolution as Seesmic Desktop 2 is a genuine match in so many ways for TweetDeck.

This post isn’t a review of either or both – you can read one like this recent and good comparison review by HTMLCenter a couple of months ago (and Google for others although most results are reviews of older versions from a year ago or more). What I want to do here is highlight a couple of things about TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop 2.

In short, I like Seesmic Desktop 2. A lot. Overall, I like it the same as I like TweetDeck. And therein lies a dilemma for both with users like me who are more interested in good and simple functionality for interacting with Twitter that you can rely on than all the bells and whistles I mentioned.

Click for larger imagewhitespacer4x32whitespacer4x32Click for larger image

Both apps offer a user experience that’s so similar in terms of satisfaction with that experience that choosing one over the other really is difficult.

So here are the top five things about both that I have in my mind when thinking about which one to use, comparing the versions I have installed on a  desktop computer and a laptop both running Windows 7 (TweetDeck 0.35.1 and Seesmic Desktop 2 1.0.1.1320:

  1. TweetDeck remembers its size and position on your desktop when you next load it. Seesmic Desktop 2 doesn’t so you have to resize it every time. That’s a major irritation to me. (T 1 – 0 S)
  2. TweetDeck has a spell checker when you type your tweet – highly useful for a clumsy typist like me – but Seesmic doesn’t (T 2 – 0 S)
  3. TweetDeck lets you see the underlying URL behind a shortened one when you hover your mouse over it, letting you know where you’re going before you click. Seesmic doesn’t (T 3 – 0 S)
  4. Seesmic Desktop 2 has some nifty plugins that enhance its usefulness – I especially like Sticky – better than TweetDeck in some areas. (T 3 – 1 S)
  5. Seesmic Desktop 2 is just more elegant than TweetDeck. Yes, I know, that’s a very subjective thing. But important to me. (T 3 – 2 S)

So for me, both are so close together in usefulness that it’s hard to see the gap.

Still, there is a gap. And it’s why TweetDeck for me is – by a whisker – my preferred desktop app for interacting with Twitter.

Loic, if you can fix at least the first one of my 5 points, things could be different right away!

[Later] Re my five points, Loic responded on Twitter:

[...] we’re working on the 3 points to improve, the 2 first ones are Silverlight limitations [Microsoft] is working on.