A few weeks ago, Twitter clients were all the rage with me. I’ve had a Twitter account for a while, but never really used it. And still don’t, at least to post updates. But I have gotten into the habit of following a dozen or so people – mainly ESPN columnists – since I’m always looking to get the scoop on what trades are happening, or who said what about somebody else. I first tried a handful of Twitter clients that you can use right in your web browser (Firefox extensions for the most part), and then moved to full-fledged Desktop clients for Linux. I realized that I’d never written about them, but instead of going through the lengthy list of the clients I tried, decided to simply write about the one I ended up choosing: Pino
Pino is a fantastic, lightweight Twitter client for Linux that has exactly the features I want. It lets me view the Twitter stream of the people I follow, allows me to post a new update, reply to someone else’s Tweet or send a direct message. Finally, I can see any messages where I am mentioned as well as direct messages to me.
If I want, I am able to view just one person’s stream, helpful if you want to go back and look at someone’s Twitter history, since for people who have many people they follow, a single user’s Tweets may disappear quickly, as Pino (by default) only shows the most recent 20 Tweets. Of course, this can easily be changed (up to 100 messages).
Pino also integrates with libindicator and the Ubuntu notification tray, so you don’t even need to have Pino visible in order to be alerted to the fact that a new Tweet has arrived. You can start up Pino with it already minimized to the Tray, so if you have it set to launch when you start the computer, it can hide until something happens. And if you miss the notification bubble, Pino also alerts you to unread status updates by changing its Tray icon from white to green.
If you have one Twitter “name” for work, and another for family and friends, then Pino is a good choice, as it supports multiple accounts. And Pino is full of customization options as well, with everything from interface tweaks to which URL shortening service is used or how your Retweets look. And all this is hidden in a deceptively simple interface.
Pino is by far my favorite Twitter client. I’ve tried other programs (including Gwibber, which comes with Ubuntu), and they’re fine, but often the interface is cluttered or they feel sluggish. Pino has none of those bad traits, only good. If you’re looking for something like this, head over to the Pino website and give it a try; it’s top of the line for me.