Different Twitter clients for any platform come with varying interface and purpose, and Mac is no exception to the rule. Some make it easier to monitor your tweets, letting you keep up with what everyone’s say without getting distracted, while others may be there to properly fuel your Twitter addiction. Some of these may work from your Mac’s Menu Bar, others via Growl notifications, and still others may have their own windows. TapSocial is a Mac app that’s gone temporarily free (originally priced at $4.99). It’s a Twitter client that works like a news ticker. A bar is added to your desktop that you can reposition to any part of the screen. Your Twitter feed appears within this bar, much like the news ticker you see on news channels. The appearance of the tweets can be modified in terms of the font and background color. You can also change the feed animation from news ticker to flipping (similar to the flight schedule at old airports).
When you first launch TapSocial, it will ask you to connect your account. Instead of asking for your Twitter login and password, TapSocial asks you to generate a PIN number. Click the Generate Twitter PIN button, and the app will redirect you to your browser, where you have to sign-in, authorize the app and enter the PIN number it gives you in the Enter PIN field. Click Activate, and TapSocial will start to buffer your Twitter stream.
The news bar will appear and Tweets in your feed will start to roll by. The bar can be moved by selecting and dragging it from the middle. Click and drag out the right end to increase the width of the bar. Three buttons at the right allow you to open the lists and hastags that you follow, to open the Tweet box where you can tweet something from and access the preferences, respectively. Hover your mouse over a tweet in the ticker, and buttons for replying or retweeting it will appear just above the original text. The feed, in turn, will suspend momentarily, and then resume.
To customize the appearance of tweets, visit TapSocial’s preferences. Select how fast you would like the ticker to run by adjusting the Speed slider, and pick how the tweets should move by selecting either Scroll Tweets (moves like a news ticker) or Flip Tweets (tweets change like an old flip clock). Choose the number of new tweets the app will show, which can range up to a maximum of 50 tweets, and set how many times the tweets should be repeated.
From the Appearance options, pick the font face, it’s color and background color of the tweets as they appear in the bar. Finally, decide if you’ll like to keep the bar floating on top of all other windows, and if you want the app start at system login.
Additionally, you may visit the Lists | # tab to manage your lists and hashtags. To add lists, you will have to follow them from Twitter’s web interface, and to add a hashtag, type it in and click Add Hashtag.
TapSocial has a clean interface, and while you might not use it as your primary Twitter client, it is an excellent way to monitor a trending topic.