Twimbow is a new web app in town, that lets you manage your Twitter profile in a new way. Lets see what it’s got in store to compete with well established rivals like Seesmic Web, HootSuite, and Brizzly.
For a start, Twimbow is colourful. With the exception of Brizzly, most Twitter clients (desktop or web) are usually monotonously coloured and look boring. Not with Twimbow. This webapp is illuminated with all sorts of colours that make it stand out from the crowd. And colour doesn’t end just with the interface – you can actually add a #colour hashtag at the end of your tweet and Twimbow will show that tweet in that colour (obviously, this is not supported in any other client, and the fun kind of wears off after a while). Despite that, it could be a killer feature for casual Twitter users who are overwhelmed by the jam packed web clients of today.
The default interface of Twimbow has got 3 columns which, at the time of writing, do no look like they can be modified. The first one is the ‘Personal Buzz’ – which is just entirely different from what you’ve seen on any Twitter client so far. This column shows everything that has to do with you – starting with your tweets, retweets, mentions, replies, DMs, favourites, and whatever else – all of which is distinguished by, gasp!, colour codes. This is obviously a very new approach to separating your activities from your contacts’ activities on Twitter, although it’s not without its caveats. While Personal Buzz can be really helpful, it can quickly turn into a hodge podge of complete Twitter craziness if you do/receive any of this in excess – tweets, replies, DMs etc. Twimbow seems to be doing some sort of background filtering to keep this column relatively clean, but it still tends to get messy at times.
The second column, Home Buzz, is about everything else – the tweets, from people you follow, that are unrelated to you. At this moment, this column doesn’t automatically refresh itself, and you’ve to keep clicking on the top to show newer updates (not unlike the Twitter web interface). This column also allows you to filter users by the lists you’ve created, which is really handy if you ask me.
The final column is simply a search stream on everything about Twimbow. There’s seemingly no way of removing it at the moment, but then it peacefully stays out of your way and also offers you an useful insight into what early adopters have to say about the service, if you’re interested.
There’s also a neat Monitor tool at the bottom that lets you keep you updated on anything, or anyone, on Twitter.
Twimbow is still in pre-alpha, meaning it’s still very very new, and it’d be rude to be demanding every feature out of the box right now. But there are still a few things I’d like to see rather sooner than later,
- An ‘options’ dialog. Somewhere. Anywhere. As a self-proclaimed geek, I’m obsessed with the settings of any program that I use. If I can’t find one, I get mad. Twimbow is still circulating among a few pre-alpha testers, so that may be the reason for the lack of options, but they should get to implementing one soon.
- Ability to upload images. Almost every other Twitter webapp does it now, and it’s actually a feature that people are gonna use.
- Ability to customize width of the columns. Not every computer screen is the same, and things can look too big or too small on non-standard resolutions.
- Twimbow uses fade-in pop-ups to show dialog boxes to update your status or to see user profiles. I don’t like those all that much. The hovercards and normal text boxes on Seesmic Web are tons better.
Of course, everyone is going to have his or her own demands, but I feel like Twimbow should have these features straight off the bat. Right now, it’s doing great for something that’s in as early stage as pre-alpha.
I’ve seen lots of people sign up for Twitter and then abandon it, as they fail to understand what the hell to do in here. For them (and everyone else as well!), Twimbow is a nice way to keep the Twiverse colorful and engaging, while still being simple and fast at the same time. As for me, I’m gonna stick to Seesmic Web for now because I just seem to like it that much better.
If you want to try Twimbow right now (and you should), comment with your Twitter handle below (something like, Hey I am @sharapova and I’d like a Twimbow invite!) and the @Twimbow team will automatically send you an invitation through Twitter. Else, you can simply @filos (who is one of the ones behind this project) and request for an invite. :)
- Try the #rainbow hashtag on Twimbow.
- Twimbow supports desktop notifications on Chrome, just like the new Seesmic Web. Also, it runs the smoothest on Chrome.