Twitter chat is a conversation or a discussion about a certain topic organized by Twitter users.The topic is defined by a unique hashtag and you can take part in the conversation by following that hashtag.
For example, the most popular discussion for bloggers is blog chat and the hashtag for that is #blogchat. This particular conversation takes place every Sunday and each week a different blogging topic is discussed. It’s a great way for bloggers to learn how to improve their blogs or share their experience with their peers.
Even though this sounds quite simple, you may find it difficult to follow conversations through Twitter, whether you are using it on your computer or mobile phone. Chats can be very active, with a lot of people participating and a lot of new tweets coming in every moment, so there is a great chance you will miss something important and become frustrated after a while.
Luckily, there are tools you can use to make this process easier and much more enjoyable.
Here are our picks for Twitter chat tools
TweetChat is an amazing free tool you can use to easily follow Twitter chats. It helps you slow down the stream by limiting very active conversations to 5 tweets at a time. You can even pause the stream if you want to reply to some tweets. During the time it’s paused, TweetChat will inform you how many new tweets there are in the conversation.
TweetChat is also very easy to use. You just enter the hashtag of the conversation you want to follow and after authorizing the app, you are ready to go. If you want to participate in the conversation, you can do it through TweetChat – there is no reason to switch to Twitter. Hashtag of the conversation is automatically added to the tweet.
If you don’t want to lose a tweet in the stream, you can highlight it and find it later. You can also hit the Block button if you don’t want to see certain tweets.
You can see chats that are live at the moment in the Active Rooms tab and join the conversations you may not even know existed. All the chats you entered will be saved in My Rooms section so you can easily navigate between different conversations at any moment. This is very useful if several chats you want to follow are happening at the same time.
If you decide to mark a Tweet as favorite, you can always come back to it later through the FavePage option. When following chats you will most certainly come across tweets you find useful and important so don’t forget to save them! In your FavePage, tweets are organized by date and hashtags they use and all your favorites are saved here, not just the TweetChat ones.
Tchat.io is a web service that makes it incredibly easy to participate in Twitter chats. You simply enter a hashtag that you want to follow and the tool will instantly load all the tweets with that hashtag. Tchat will update the stream with new tweets in real-time.
You can pause the stream whenever you like, hide retweets, or switch between hashtags if you are following more than one topic.
There is also a text box that lets you tweet directly from the feed page, and it includes the chat hashtag in your tweet automatically. You can also reply, quote, retweet, and favorite tweets from the site as well.
One of the pretty cool Twitter chat tools, that gives you the ability to set the feed speed from fastest to slowest, is Twubs. You can also pause the thread, reply, retweet, favorite, and tweet directly from Twubs with the hashtag automatically included.
What is great about this tool is that you can explore Twitter chats by letter or category and find new, relevant conversations you might want to take a part in.
Also, Twubs gives you the schedule for Twitter chats so you can know exactly when to tune in and follow or participate in the conversations you find interesting.
You can also use Twubs to host and schedule a Twitter chat. Your tweets will be highlighted so your guests can easily find them in the thread.
Again, this is a free tool that requires only app authorization and it’s really easy to use.
TweetDeck is a Twitter client that lets you create several ‘columns’ in a single screen, so you can see everything that’s happening in one place. You can choose the type of columns you want to add, such as mentions, lists, messages, and search.
In order to view and participate in a Twitter chat, you’ll need to add the hashtag you’re interested in. You can do this by adding a Search type column and setting the matching term to the hashtag. When setting up your column, you’ll be able to exclude retweets and choose to see only tweets in a specific language, as well as tweets with a certain number of likes and retweets. Here’s how setting up these filters looks like in the tool:
To send tweets during a chat you will click on New Tweet icon on the top left column and the tweet box will pop out. From there you can write your tweet, add images, and even schedule the tweet to go out at a time you choose.
Twchat is great for people who are looking to get more out of Twitter chats. All you need to do to get started is to sign in through your Twitter account and create a profile. Then you’ll be able to create your own real-time chat rooms based on the hashtags you’re interested in, follow specific chat rooms, and bookmark hashtags.
Within your chat room, you’ll be able to see all new tweets, send tweets, filter out retweets, and more.
Like other Twitter chat tools we talked about, TwChat will automatically insert the hashtag for the chat with every tweet you send out. There’s also a “Mentors” section where you can see the tweets by the chat organizers and any special guests.
The tool also displays a list of latest and upcoming chats. You can choose a specific chat category and see if there’s anything you’d like to participate in.
Getting involved in Twitter chats is a great way to attract new followers and actively participate in relevant conversations with peers from your niche or industry. You can use any of the above 5 tools to start leveraging the benefits of Twitter chats today.
It’s up to you to choose the tool that works best for you. My personal favorite is TweetChat, because it offers a wide variety of very useful features.
What tools have you used? Which ones do you find the best?