How do you use social networks like Facebook and Twitter on your iPhone?

qStatus for iPhone

The iPhone and Facebook and Twitter go together like chocolate and peanut butter but just like there are a lot of tasty desert combinations, there's a lot of ways to keep up with your social networks on the go:

  • The web. Hey, it's where most social networks started and because the iPhone has the excellent Mobile Safari web browser, you can just point it towards, (or any other and get your status on. Both Facebook and Twitter provide iPhone-optimized versions of their websites as well, though you can tap-through to the full sites.
  • App Store apps like the official Facebook app [Free - iTunes link] or any of the excellent 3rd party Twitter apps. The Facebook app really came into its own with version 3.0. Version 3.1 added the much-requested push notifications, though it brought with it numerous, aggravating bugs... Twitter clients on the other hand are many and varied, from the write-centric Birdhouse [$1.99 - iTunes link] to the read-centric Reportage [$1.99 - iTunes link], with the uber-popular Tweetie [$2.99 - iTunes link] and Twitterrific [Free or $4.99 - iTunes link], and push-centric TwitBit [Free or $2.99 - iTunes link] and many others making us the envy of the platform space.

And with either of those options there's still several things you can do with them:

  • Share your status. Telling your friends who you're with, what you're watching, where you're going, why you're ticked off, and how it's all some other friend's fault is probably the oldest, most common use of social networks. There are even apps like qStatus [$0.99 - iTunes link] that specialize in updating them.
  • Share your photos. Flickr uploads, Twitter pics, Facebook galleries -- people like to show other people their family, funny, even freaky photos and social networks make it easy. Sure you can email a photo to a few people, but you can post it to as many friends as you have
  • Share your gaming. "I just walked 3 meters and fell to my grisly death in..." is all over our social status' thanks to games that offer built-in auto-Tweet and auto-Facebook options. Whether it's for your crops, your castle, your drag-race, your FPS, or any other of a dozen games in a dozen genres, they can instantly let al your friends hear you brag (or complain!)
  • Combine your logins. Facebook Connect and Twitter's login services let you use your existing social network ID at a variety of other sites, either add-on services/apps to Facebook or Twitter, or other social networks. Hey, some people don't want to have to remember multiple user names and passwords, you know?

We'd love Facebook to fix the 3.1 trunk, we'd love Twitter to add an official push-API, and we'd love Apple to let us multitask them all, but the iPhone remains a premiere platform for social networking and we've only just scratched the surface. Web or App, and what for? Tell us -- how you use your iPhone to keep up with your social networks? (And if you don't use social networks at all, let us know why not!)

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

How do you use social networks like Facebook and Twitter on your iPhone?


I use the Facebook app, but it has been pretty annoying lately - tried out Facebook mobile the other day and thought it looked pretty nice, but was a bit too slow. I use Tweetie 2 for Twitter - exclusively. I've tried several other Twitter apps, but Tweetie just feels like home. :-)
I usually update my status on both networks via qTweeter, the jailbroken (and much cooler) version of qStatus.

I use the facebook app and Tweetie 2 and by and large I'm happy with that. I also use(d) pixelpipe until yesterday! Pixelpipe is a posters dream app so very disappointed to see it pulled from app store. Whoever complained has a vested interest and not consumer interests at heart.

Fbook and Twitter don't well that well with Iphone ... cause Iphone does not integrate Facebook and twitter contacts to the Iphone contact list... a la WebOS .. or Friends status like HTC sense

I use facebook everyday and I use twittelator for tweeting... I wish we could watch videos in the facebook app... For now I think in gonna have to buy facebook video player in the app store... Anyone tried it yet?

The Facebook app is top-notch. The only complaint I have about it is that the "offline" setting won't stick. Every time I launch the app, I am immediately visible and have to quickly go to the Chat section to switch to "offline". This is annoying.
Until this is fixed, I mainly use the web site... so I'm always invisible unless I decide to change it.
The thing I like better about the iPhone app, however, is that the Status updates aren't limited to the 240 character limit (I've posted twice that). Also, you can use paragraph breaks on the iPhone app, unlike on the web site. This is good for posting my lengthy political and anti-religion rants. :)
The only videos that won't play are user-uploaded videos. Linked videos (YouTube, Yahoo, etc.) still play in the app.

Facebook app and TwitBit. I need push for Twitter, and my echofon push was really slow, twitbit is the only one with a good UI and proper push.

I daily use Tweetie 2 and Facebook and I also use Beejive!
Those apps are on my 1. homescreen and I love them so much!
On work I check twitter every half an hour and Facebook too.
Beejive with push I get my messages immediately on my iPhone

i use to do all that but I sick of all my apps asking for twitter and facebook info. I use facebook, and Tweetie 2 and that is it. I trying not to tweet and spam my feed.

Chirpie - Quickly post to Twitter and/or Facebook.
Tweetie 2 - Read and post to twitter.
Facebook App - Read facebook.
Boxcar - Twitter push notifications.

I use the Pingle app, which is an app for, to post to all of my social networks at once. I then use apps like Facebook, Brightkite and Tweetie 2 to check my various streams and responses. Works fairly well.

I tend to use Facebook on my iPhone minimally, such as when I don't have access to my computer and simply want to update my status. I actually prefer the regular mobile version of Facebook (accessed simply by googling "Facebook" on your iPhone) to the official app store version.

I use the FB app and Echofon. I am one of those people that prefer an app to the web for Twitter and the Web to an app for FB. That said I think that the iPhone FB app is really well done overall. I would like to see them fix the issues with push in that it would be nice to have sound.

Short answer - I don't use them. Old Dog. But I might do something with the dormant Facebook account . . . any day now.

I use the Facebook app and TweetDeck which is sweet cause you can update your FB and Twitter status at the same time!

I use facebook app and HootSuite on my iPhone and stick pretty much to HootSuite when I'm on my MacBook. On HootSuite, you can add multiple social networks, accounts, rss feed and post easily to facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, foursquare and more...
I love it!

Use official fb app. I think I have tweetie 2 but I don't tweet that much, if I do it's by text. I pretty much live on fb though, so app is a must. Since last update had issues with uploading some pics. Aim is how I use fb chat, it works soo much better and has push.

I use FB App and Tweetie 2, but mainly FB App. I wish the in app notifications (in FB app) were better, but other than that it's quite good.