Social networking has been chugging along nicely for a while now, and has grown into something that you’re almost expected to do, rather than fool around with once in a while. Along with that have grown a number of applications that profess to make your online social life easier to manage, but there hasn’t been anything that I’ve found impressive for managing more than one social network at a time. Until now.
Ladies and gentlemen, I do believe I have found the Swiss Army knife of social networking applications. MahTweets seemed impressive even before I’d had a look at it, but I was sold once I actually saw what it could do. You can get your Twitter, Facebook and Flickr accounts corralled into one app, with additional support for RSS feeds. Not only that but there is also a choice of plugins for a range of different services too, all fully customisable to suit your particular needs.
Now, you may argue that MahTweets doesn’t do anything but a bunch of other applications – both desktop and online – don’t already do, but the fact is that it brings together disparate social networks into one application is what makes it so special. True, you could probably set up a browser to do the same thing, as some people do, but you’re still flicking from tab to tab. Besides,some people prefer their apps on the separate from the rest of their browsing, and for them MahTweets is a great alternative to having a bunch of different apps cluttering up the desktop.
MahTweets is built on .NET 3.5, which would normally be a bit of a bugbear for me, but aside from that, it is open-source, and doesn’t need Adobe AIR, which is a boon in my book. It’s a little heavy on memory usage, for those who have older machines, but not to the extent that it will cripple your machine. Once installed, it’s very easy to configure your different networks and to choose your plugins. You are even given the choice between three URL-shortening services for your links: is.gd, tr.im and and tinyurl.com. There’s also an auto-expansion facility for shortened urls, which lengthens links that use bit.ly, ff.im or twurl.nl in addition to the three shortening services offered.
As with all the best social networking applications, you can build your own columns and groups to watch your streams the way you like. One thing that MahTweets lacks in comparison to competing apps is the facility to create your own search columns, but I’m sure that feature will probably be added in future builds. For now, however, this is a marvellous little application that is almost, almost enough to tempt me away from my beloved HootSuite permanently. True, there are sexier-looking apps out there, the Facebook navigation is a little clunky, and despite being open-source it is not cross-platform, but for what it does, MahTweets is very impressive indeed. If they added support for multiple Twitter accounts, I wouldn’t bother with any other social networking applications again.
[Image by Jessica Higgins]