Twitter goes mobile

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Twitter has more than 100 million active users. The micro-blogging social media site allows users to share news, announcements, jokes and pictures all in 140 character tweets. It also allows users to follow media professionals, sports figures and celebrities.

In fact, Justin Bieber has more than 21 million followers and Lady Gaga has more than 23 million, which is greater than the population of Australia.

Twitter members aren’t just tweeting from their laptops. In a recent report, Twitter said 43 percent of its users access the site from their phones.

Many Apple users use apps along with tweeting natively, meaning iPhone and iPad owners can tweet directly from their device’s camera, maps feature or Safari browser. One such user is Spencer Irvine, a senior from Maryland majoring in international relations. He uses TweetDeck on his laptop and tweets natively on his iPhone.

“I’m a big political junkie and sports fan,” Irvine said. “I like having a Twitter app on my iPhone so I can get immediate updates.”

Twitter also has an official app that was recently updated, but there are a few more that take Twitter on mobile devices to the next level.

Hootsuite allows you to store up to five social media profiles on one account for free. Users can swipe across Hootsuite’s interface to see their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other feeds, mentions and messages. Personalized analytics are sent to users each week to track their influence.

Erik Fisher is the social media manager at Indiana Wesleyan University and uses both Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to manage the university’s Twitter accounts. He said Hootsuite helped him stay on top of tweets at the beginning of three separate commencement services.

“Hootsuite is great when I need to time certain tweets exactly right,” Fisher said.

Tweetcaster shortens website links for tweets, lets you schedule tweets and post to Facebook. It also offers easy searches of trends, topics and personally created lists.

Tweetdeck is an app similar to Hootsuite, as it brings several social media feeds together. Some claim Tweetdeck loads faster than Hootsuite, and others like that photo tweeting is allowed inside the app. Since Twitter took ownership of this app, it looks similar to the regular Twitter interface, which many people enjoy.

All featured apps are available on the Android Market and the Apple App Store.

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