Data hog! Twitter's own iPhone app uses twice the data of Tweetdeck

Remember all those big hints Twitter gave about not developing client apps any more? Well that’s working out well for them. It turns out their own, in-house client app for the iPhone is the worst of all the major Twitter apps for hogging data. In fact the official Twitter App uses double the data of the Tweetdeck iPhone app, according to a new study by mobile data management startup Onavo. Perhaps it’s just as well Twitter bought Tweetdeck recently…

Of course, double the data usage can end up meaning double the cost, depending on your mobile contract and if you are roaming abroad. We’ve reached out to Twitter for comment on this.

Since most mobile operators – including AT&T – now only offer capped data plans, iPhone users need to watch their data. Onavo found that the difference between Twitter for iPhone and TweetDeck could be as much as $2 a session, under the most extreme data plans.

Onavo (an app which manages data on the iPhone which runs in the background) also found:

• More than one in five (22%) iPhone users in the US have a Twitter app installed. In Spain this rises to 34%, in China in drops to 7%.

• The most popular client is the native Twitter app (Twitter for iPhone – 65%), followed by TweetDeck and TweetBot (8% each) and EchoFon (4%)

• No two Twitter clients are the same when it comes to data consumption:

– The most efficient is TweetDeck, followed by TweetBot

– The biggest data hog: Twitter for iPhone, followed by EchoFon

Of course, although a 140 character tweet doesn’t cost much, just check your Twitter timeline once a day for a month and you could use 3MB more data on Twitter than Tweetdeck.

Of course, Onavo’s app says it can reduce data usage by up to a further 65%. In day to day use I’ve certianly found it is reducing mine, though I’ve not tracked it scientifically.