5 Twitter Chat Tools to Use to Follow Hashtags

Use These Tools for Participating in Any Twitter Hashtag Chat

Twitter Chat
Photo © Getty Images

Twitter is one big chatroom for everyone in the world who's online, and a lot of people use it that way. The sheer volume of tweets makes it difficult to keep up with a particular group of people in one conversation, which is why it's useful to have Twitter chat tools handy.

With any one of these tools, you can’t go wrong. Getting involved in a Twitter chat is one of the best ways to attract new followers, be part of a community and learn new things. Best of all, it’s free and loads of fun. 

What's a Twitter Chat Anyway?

Users across the globe host chats on different subjects at certain times and days of the week. Anyone with a public profile can participate by following the chat hashtag. For example, anybody interested in blogging can join the popular blog chat on Twitter that takes place every Sunday evening, marked by the hashtag #blogchat.

One of the biggest problems chat participants encounter is that following an active chat with lots of participants can be inefficient and frustrating when it's done on Twitter via the web or on one of the mobile apps. Some chats move so fast that tweets fly by before you get a chance to read them.

You can use a Twitter management tool like HootSuite to follow a specific hashtag in its own dedicated column, but chances are you’ll have the same problem as following via Twitter.com. Everything moves too fast.

If you’re serious about being involved with one or more Twitter chats and don’t want to miss anything important, use tools specifically designed to follow Twitter chats closely and interact with chatters easily. Here are a few tools to help you get started.

TweetChat

TweetChat makes it easy to get going with a chat. Simply type the chat hashtag into a field, authorize your Twitter account with TweetChat, and start chatting.

You'll see a clean and simple feed that looks similar to Twitter. All the tweets that show up in the feed are from people who mark their tweets with the chat hashtag, so you never miss anything. Slow down the tweet stream by limiting active conversations to five tweets at a time. When you don't want to lose a particular tweet, highlight it and mark it as a favorite. Later, you can revisit the tweet using the FavePages option.

Use the tweet composer at the top of the screen to join in with your own tweets and don't worry about manually putting the chat hashtag because TweetChat does it automatically for you. Pause the stream whenever you need a break, retweet, or like anyone else's tweet and use the My Rooms menu option to keep track of multiple Twitter chats. Use the Active Rooms tab to find and join in new conversations.

Tweetdeck

If you are into multitasking, Tweetdeck is the way to go. It creates multiple columns across the screen so you can monitor notifications, messages, activity and tweets, all at the same time. The columns are customizable, and you can change the defaults to include mentions, lists, messages and other topics.

To view a Twitter chat in Tweetdeck, you add the hashtag for the chat. Do this by adding a Search column and set the matching terms to the chat's hashtag. Then you have a column dedicated to the chat. You can set filters on the column to exclude retweets or to see tweets only in a specified language. You can also filter for a minimum number of likes and retweets.

With Tweetdeck, you can send new tweets during a chat, add images, or schedule a tweet to go out at a specific time

TwChat

TwChat is great for people who are ready to take Twitter chatting to the next level. This tool lets you sign in through your Twitter account and create a profile so that you can then start your own chats, follow specific chatrooms, and bookmark hashtags for later. When you are in a chat room you can see all the new tweets, filter out retweets, highlight tweets that are questions, and send tweets to participate in the chat.

Unlike some of the other chat tools, TwChat has two columns that separate the Mentors, who are the hosts of the chat and any special guests, from everybody else. On the front page, you can view a list of upcoming chats to see if any fit your interests.

tchat.io

Minimalists will like tchat.io, which is similar to TweetChat in that it asks you to enter a chat hashtag and sign in to Twitter to start participating using the simple chat feed page that it gives you. The biggest difference is that tchat.io doesn't have personalized options.

If you want a super simple tool that makes chatting easier, tchat.io is a good choice. You can pause or play the stream at any time, hide retweets, or switch hashtags if there's another one you're following.

When you're ready to tweet, tchat.io makes it convenient for you to do so by including the chat hashtag in the tweet composer. You can also use the icon buttons next to any tweet in your stream to reply, retweet, quote, or like the tweet.

Twubs

If Twitter chats move too quickly for you, you'll appreciate the Twubs feature that lets you adjust the speed of the feed. You can also pause the feed whenever you want, retweet, reply, and favorite a tweet. Twubs adds the chat hashtag automatically.

Twubs makes it easy to explore Twitter chats by category, and it lets you schedule your chats so you'll know when to be online.

You can also schedule your own Twitter chat using Twubs. Your tweets are highlighted in the chat, so your visitors can find them easily.