If you’re looking to create Twitter groups that allow for public or private communication between multiple Twitterers, you’ve definitely got a few choices. The apps listed below will allow you to, in one fashion or another, create custom groups allowing you to tweet to just a specified group of Twitterers.
Twitter4Groups: The most basic of the bunch. It’s not chock full of functionality, but this private Twitter group option essentially passes direct messages to all members who have opted into a private group. The setup process simply entails creating a protected group Twitter account, having members follow the account, and making sure that the Twitter account in question follows them back. Then any time anyone direct messages the group twitter account, that tweet is dispersed to the group’s followers.
GroupTweet: If communicating privately with a select group of Twitter individuals is your goal, than GroupTweet is your platform. Once you create a Twitter account for your group, you can register that account with GroupTweet and share it with the people you want to be included. Like Twitter4Groups, any direct messages to the group Twitter account will be relayed to all followers of the group.
Tweetworks: Another great group site for public or private groups. With Tweetworks, you can join groups on the site and create your own, but best of all, the app attempts to thread conversations, so replies are grouped in a convenient, easy to read fashion.
Tweetparty: You can use Tweetparty to create your own personal groups, such that you can message all the users you placed in your groups simultaneously with a single tweet. All you need to do is create your groups on Tweetparty, add the Twitterers you want in each group, and then DM tweetparty with the group name and message and it gets dispersed via DM to each individual.
TwitterTeams: Still in private beta, TwitterTeams promises to let you join Twitter teams and use team tags, similar to hashtags, to communicate with fellow group members.
TweetKnot: Use this one to create public or private Twitter groups to follow people or RSS feeds. As a user, you can create an on-site knot, otherwise known as a group, name it, designate whether it’s a private or public group, and add a group description. Then you can designate Twitterers or RSS feeds for the knot to follow, essentially creating a shared Twitter stream of updates that’s specific to the people and sites you add. Knot members can post and follow group updates.
Crowdstatus: Yet another way to lump Twitterers into custom created groups. Crowdstatus does, however, take a slightly different approach by only displaying the most recent update from crowd members. It provides a visually stimulating dashboard — tweets are shown in individual boxes — that might make consuming member-specific tweets all the more enjoyable. Plus, you can even opt to turn auto-refresh on and off.
Tweetizen: Tweetizen isn’t a robust Twitter app, but it does let you create and participate in web-based groups in order to follow the people or topics that are of interest to you. It’s basically just an app to filter tweets, but Tweetizen’s interface is much more impressive than some of the options available to accomplish the same purpose, and we like that you can login with Twitter OAuth, view active groups, check out feature groups, and keep up with Twitter trends.
Twitly: Essentially the same as Tweetizen, Twitly is a web app for separating the people you follow into groups. We had some issues logging into the app, so it’s not high up on our list.
TwitHive: A web-based app for creating Twitter channels (like columns) of tweets from people you place in groups, or search terms that you designate. When creating a channel column you can name it and select whether you want it to be a column of specific Twitter user updates, a search query, or just tweets from your stream that are questions, retweets, or include URLs. TwitHive does let you create channels based on multiple Twitter accounts, so it’s essentially a good multi-account group-centric Twitter client.
Twubs: Specifically designed to create Twitter groups around hashtag content. Twubs aggregates video, photos, and tweets that use a hashtag, and allows users to not only edit the hashtag description, but join the individual Twubs and contribute even more content. Since hashtags create community and conversation around a topic or event, Twubs provides a better way to engage with the content and people participating in hashtag discussions.
Twibes: You can use Twibes to create your own public topic-oriented Twitter discussion hub. Twibes’ setup process is pretty similar to other sites, but one advantage is that it does allow for other users to join the Twibe simply by retweeting the group URL. You can create up to 3 Twibes per Twitter account, or pay to create more.
Twhanel: With Twhanel, you can create category or topic specific feeds of tweets. Essentially it’s just a filter for Twitter, but you can host your Twhanels on your own site. One thing to note is that you’ll have to create a Twhanel specific login to use the site.
TweetChannel: Though stylistically unimpressive, TweetChannel is another straight-forward way create and facilitate discussions in Twitter groups. There are no extra bells and whistles, and channels are public, but it gets the job done. Also, to have your channel listed in their directory, you’ll want to use the hashtag format, ie #channelname, when you tweet.
In our first post on Twitter groups, we explored how TweetDeck and Twhirl could be used for groups. But there are also a myriad of other Twitter apps (of the web, mobile, or desktop variety) that help you create groups for your friends and followers, or your must-follow Twitter searches.
Seesmic Desktop : Just recently refreshed, Seesmic Desktop is a robust Twitter desktop app that calls their groups userlists, and you have complete control over these lists, which also pop out as columns. You can delete lists as a whole, or add and remove individuals one by one. Right now, though, you can’t easily access a list of your Twitter friends or quickly add multiple Twitterers to a group in one single swoop. The new Seesmic web app currently lacks a groups feature, but it should be coming soon.
Destroy Twitter, PeopleBrowsr, Nambu for Mac, and Tweetr: Each of these Twitter apps is very group friendly, and each one has its own slightly unique implementation, but in general you define the group name and type, and add people or keywords as needed. PeopleBrowsr is available as a both a desktop and a web app and is the most sophisticated, albeit least newbie user-friendly, app for filtering of tweets and creating columns of grouped Twitter friends.
HootSuite: When it comes to web-based clients for Twitter, the newest version of HootSuite is great for creating groups of users or search results. In the 2.0 version, simply select to add a column, and from there you can create a group for keyword tracking, search, and people.
With the people groups you can add usernames one by one, and then edit the column later as needed. When it comes to keyword tracking, you can add up to three words or phrases per column, and with search you can use common search operators to narrow your results. You also have a group/column for pending tweets, which houses the tweets you schedule for later and provides a quick glimpse at your pending tweets, and gives you an easy way to delete or edit them.
As Twitter grows in popularity, so do mobile apps for tweeting. There are dozens of Twitter apps for the iPhone alone, with more and more created everyday, which means an abundance of the mobile Twitter apps on the market are likely to update to support Twitter groups.
TweetDeck for iPhone: TweetDeck’s iPhone offering replicates the Twitter column experience on your iPhone so you can view tweets grouped by the topics or users that you’ve previously configured on the web. Its slick and innovative interface makes it a breeze to flip through existing columns or add new ones on the fly. Plus it comes completely free of charge.
iTwitter: This newbie for the iPhone will set you back $3.99, but you can use iTwitter to create and add users to groups for a filtered Twitter stream viewing experience.
SimplyTweet: At the same price point as iTwitter, SimplyTweet not only lets you create saved views of friends, ie. groups, on your iPhone, but also manage multiple accounts, integrate with your HootSuite account, view Twitter trends, post to Posterous (), and view replies in a conversation thread.
Twitterlator: The Pro version of Twitterlator for the iPhone will cost you $4.99 but it does support Twitter groups, called subgroups, and provides a super simple way of adding Twitterers from your address book to each of your subgroups (this feature is phenomenal). We, of course, are very fond the app now that it supports posting video from your iPhone 3GS to Twitter.
TweetFlip: This relatively new $1.99 iPhone app also supports groups, in a similar panel style to TweetDeck, though you will have to add members one by one by typing their Twitter name. TweetFlip’s only differentiating feature from the other full-featured apps is an automatic insult option that generates smack talk you can quickly tweet.
PocketTwit: Windows Mobile users can turn to PocketTwit to get Twitter groups while away from their computer. The app also supports retweeting, includes an address book, allows for managing multiple accounts, integrates with several photo sharing options, and supports themes.
Gravity: This S60 app for Nokia, Samsung, and LG phones certainly does groups, but it will set you back about 10 bucks. You can, however, configure audio alerts for Twitter notifications, manage multiple accounts, as well as search Twitter and view trending topics.
TweetGrid: This app helps you visualize search results for a number of different keywords or phrases in a grid-like fashion. It could certainly use a makeover, but we like the ability to customize the grid’s columns and rows, and see search results side-by-side.
Monitter: Similar to TweetGrid, albeit much friendlier on the eyes, Monitter is limited to just column-centric search result viewing. It’s pretty great for keeping a constant eye on search results.
TwitPicGrid: A mashup of TweetGrid and TwitPic TwitPicGrid is perfect should you want to filter Twitter search results for photos only.
Floxee: This search, filter, and Twitterer grouping app has yet to be released in the wild, but when it’s live it will be a great and visually impressive way to aggregate and showcase tweets around events, particular people of interest, or hot topics. Floxee features include a searchable historical tweetstream, stats on Twitterers, and an advanced group directory.
Tweetboard: As we recently discovered, Tweetboard, which is now in open alpha, adds an instant Twitter microforum to your site for engaging with site visitors in a unique way. By wrapping up (and grouping) your tweets and replies into threaded conversations, Tweetboard prominently showcases how Twitter customer service can really work. It’s akin to creating a Twitter community around your website, product, or service.