Nambu: The Shape of Microblogging Consolidation to Come

nambuNambu is a free social messaging client for Mac OS X. It’s still in beta, but it has swiftly become my client of choice for professional tweeting, thanks to its easy switching between Twitter accounts and a great interface.

At the end of last month, fellow WWD writer Imran Ali posted a wish-list for lifestreaming apps, those efficient little consolidation tools that are supposed to help make sense of the social network mess we’ve got ourselves into. There’s no doubt, as Imran suggests, that these apps could be doing a lot more than just putting everything in one place, which is really what most actually do when you get right down to it.

I was optimistic that maybe Nambu would provide something out of the ordinary, but it remains to be seen what kind of cross-service interaction will appear, since the current Nambu beta only supports Twitter accounts. Future versions will implement support for, FriendFeed and, but they aren’t accessible in Nambu’s preferences as of yet.

Still, even without support for additional services, Nambu is a very useful little program with a feature-set that’s sure to please Twitter users who dislike TweetDeck’s cluttered interface. It more closely resembles an instant messaging application than most Twitter clients, and it offers IM-like features as well.

picture-11Tweets appear in descending order from most to least recent, as you would expect, and appear in a much more OS X-friendly graphical style than TweetDeck’s stream. There’s a filter field at the top of the app window pane, and a collapsible composition field at the bottom, with buttons for quick posting of pictures to and instant URL shortening. You’ll also find buttons for retweeting, replying and sending a direct message along the top left of the interface.

picture-21What’s that? You say you miss your columns from TweetDeck? Have no fear, Nambu supports those as well. You can implement multi-column mode via the “View” menu, which allows you to add columns for things like private messages, replies (or “mentions,” in Nambu, which is actually a more accurate description), sent messages, searches and trends, and more. While checking out this view I also noticed that Nambu supports in-line threaded messaging, which is something I’ve been missing in TweetDeck.


Multi-column view can take up a lot of screen real estate, and might not appeal to everyone because of this. That’s where “Outline” mode comes in handy. Nambu looks more like EventBox in this mode, with a list of links to your sent messages, groups, mentions, search and other areas you might normally use columns for.

It’s a beast of an app, and thanks to easy switching between multiple Twitter accounts, it’s become my weapon of choice for professional tweeting. So if you’re on OS X and TweetDeck isn’t cutting it, or even if TweetDeck is cutting, take Nambu out for a spin. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Have you tried Nambu?

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