If you are looking for a desktop client for Twitter these days, you will most likely be overwhelmed by the amount of choices, but according to TwitStat, the most popular desktop clients right now are TweetDeck and Twhirl, and TweetDeck is the clear choice of Twitter’s most active users. This weekend, however, we came across Nambu, a new Mac OSX Twitter client that packs the best features of both TweetDeck and Twhirl into a native application, and which adds a number of very interesting additional features, including threaded conversations, three different views to choose from, and the ability to filter columns by keyword.


Features: Lean and Mean

The latest version of TweetDeck has become somewhat infamous for how much memory it often eats up after a few hours of continuous usage. Nambu, on the other hand, keeps a relatively low footprint. Just like TweetDeck, Nambu features the ability to create groups (which is really the only way to keep up if you follow a large number of users) and separate columns for specific searches.

Nambu also features a number of other features that set it apart from its competitors. You can, for example, translate any tweet into English with a simple keyboard shortcut, and you can easily add users to a group from a very straightforward right-click menu. Nambu can also auto-complete the names of users you follow when you write a new message. For real power-users, Nambu also supports more than one Twitter account, and for URL-shortening, it currently defaults to tr.im, which was developed by the Nambu team.

Unlike TweetDeck, however, Nambu doesn’t feature integration with a lot of third-party applications like StockTwits, and it doesn’t support Facebook yet. Looking forward, however, the team plans to enable support for FriendFeed, identi.ca, and Ping.fm in the near future.

Three Views

While Nambu most closely resembles TweetDeck, the application also features two other views as well. The first resembles a traditional, one-column Twitter client like Twhirl, while the second looks a lot like the interface for EventBox, which we reviewed last week, and which sports a sidebar with all your groups and persistent searches.

Twitter Threads

One of the most interesting features of Nambu is that it automatically organizes your conversations into threads. It will also do this for conversations that you don’t participate in, but you have to be subscribed to both sides of the conversation.

Still in Beta

Of course, Nambu is still in its early beta phase, so you can expect things to break now and then. The development team, however, is issuing updates regularly and development is clearly moving ahead swiftly. There are obviously still some bugs in the application, and the latest update, for example, seems to take up more memory than the previous release.

Nambu also offers an iPhone application, and while it’s a decent enough mobile Twitter client, we would recommend other options like Twitfone or Tweetie over Nambu on the iPhone platform.

On the Mac desktop, few applications can currently rival Nambu’s feature set, so if you already like TweetDeck, and if you are on a Mac, then Nambu is definitely worth a try.