Getting started with Twitter for Windows 8

The new Twitter app for Windows 8 has some familiar features as well as a few new ones that are specific to Windows 8. We'll show you how to get started with the new app.

Twitter for Windows 8 in Windows Store
The new Twitter for Windows 8 app can be downloaded from the Windows Store. Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Twitter released its first-ever Windows client yesterday for Windows 8 . The client supports the usual array of Twitter features, but also includes a few that are unique to Windows 8. Here's how to get started with Twitter for Windows 8:

Setup

Download and install the Windows 8 Twitter app from the Windows Store. The first time you launch the app, you'll need to log in with your Twitter username and password to authorize the app. The second time you launch the app, you may be prompted to allow Twitter to run the in background. If you want show quick status notifications on the lock screen, you should allow it to run in the background. You can always go back to PC settings and change it later if you change your mind.

Using Twitter for Windows 8

After authorization, you'll see the familiar timeline as well as the navigation tabs on the left side of the app: Home, Connect, Discover, and Me. In the upper right-hand corner, you'll also notice the Compose and Search icons. If you're already familiar with Twitter, using the app to compose, reply, retweet, and favorite should be pretty self-explanatory.

Twitter for Windows 8 main screen
Click to enlarge. Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Photo grid: A unique feature of the Twitter app in Windows 8 is the photo grid in profiles. When viewing a Twitter user's profile, you can swipe photos or scroll horizontally and see them all in a grid. When you select a photo, it will display in full-screen.

Twitter for Windows 8 photo grid
Click to enlarge. Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Search and Share charms: Another distinct feature of the Windows 8 Twitter app is the Search and Share charms. From any app in Windows 8, you can search Twitter for hash tags or accounts using the Search charm. And with the Share charm, you can quickly share content from any app to Twitter. To access the Charms, just swipe in from the right edge of the screen or move the mouse to the lower right-hand corner. You can also use the keyboard shortcut, Win+Q for Search and Win+H for Share.

Twitter for Windows 8 share charm
Click to enlarge. Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Snap view: One of the cooler features of Twitter for Windows 8 is the ability to snap the app to the side of the screen. This lets you view your timeline while using another app. To snap two apps side by side, bring in the second app from the left edge with your finger or the upper left-hand corner with your mouse. You can also use the keyboard shortcut, Win+. to toggle snapping the current app to the left, right, or back to full-screen.

Twitter for Windows 8 snap view
Click to enlarge. Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Settings: If you want to change notifications, log out of the Twitter app, clear search history, or modify display settings, swipe in from the right edge then go to Settings > Options, or use the keyboard shortcut, Win+I and select Options. From Settings, you can also choose Permissions to change privacy settings, toggle notifications, and to allow or disallow the app to run in the background.

That's it. The Twitter app for Windows 8 is great for Windows 8 tablet and hybrid users, but desktop users might be able to benefit from it as well. When used with StarDock's ModernMix , it'll run in its own window, making it function like a desktop client.

About the author

Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at techdadreview.com.

 

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