Twimbow, A New Twitter Tool – Review and Interview

Twimbow review and interviewI’ve only been using Twimbow for a couple of days, but so far I like what I see. Twimbow is a colorful approach to viewing your Twitter stream, with a lot of nifty features thrown in. When you authorize the app, you get a window with three columns: personal buzz, home buzz and search. Search shows any of your saved searches, selected from a drop down menu – or you can enter a new search in the search bar at the top and see the results in that column. Home Buzz shows your regular Twitter stream, but you can also click on the options icon to show your lists. One thing I noticed is that only the lists I had generated were displayed. Lists I’d subscribed to were not included. In both of these, a thin yellow line divides old tweets which you might have seen from the ones that have just come in.

Personal buzz in color

The most interesting column is the rainbow colored left column – Personal Buzz –  which has a color coded legend across the top for tweets originated by you (blue), @replies (green), DMs you have sent (yellow), DMs you have received (orange), RTs by you (pink), RTs of your twwets (pale green) and favorites (red). All of these appear in this column and you can soon tell at a glance which is which. If that’s too busy for you, then just click on a color bar at the top to temporarily exclude it from your stream.

Other good features are the ability to view photos and videos inline and the pop-up profiles of each Twitter user which include follower management tools (they’re not all active yet, but I like the fact that they’ve thought about them).

Monitor your keywords

Just for the fun of it I clicked on the monitor button at the bottom of the window and found another useful feature. Using this button sends the main window to the background and allows you to type in usernames or search terms you want to monitor. These alert you when there are new tweets about the person or topic you’re monitoring, and even if the monitor window is inactive you can see a big number on a red background to let you know when there’s something to see. I think this is a great way of using screen real estate.

What happens when you hover

There’s even more useful functionality when you hover over individual tweets. For your own tweets a drop down menu invites you to share by email (Facebook and Buzz coming soon) or to delete. For tweets by others, you can reply, reply to all, send a DM, use old or new-style RTs, add as favorite or share – a nice bunch of options. There’s also a ‘show conversation’ button which does exactly what it says. I love being able to see conversations in a steady flow, so this is a winning feature for me.

The ‘new tweet’ window includes a URL shortener and allows you to color code your tweets (only visible in Twimbow). I suppose it could be useful (sort of like sorting/labeling your tweets), but do I really want to waste some of my precious 140 characters on a color hashtag? I don’t think so.

Other than that, though, Twimbow looks promising. If it had the filtering features in Twylah, then it would have everything I need.

Twimbow – The Interview

I asked Twimbow founder Luca Filigheddu a few questions about the web application:

Describe Twimbow briefly.

Twimbow is a web Twitter browser that lets you enjoy Twitter in an innovative and effective way.

What makes Twimbow different from Twitter and other Twitter tools?

Twimbow offers a unique way to highlight your most important tweets, introduces the concept of “personal buzz” for all your interactions with other users and the innovative concept of “monitor”. Unlike all the other clients available, Twimbow doesn’t use more columns to let you track keywords and users but rather a dashboard from where you can do much more and keep your user interface clean.

Why should bloggers consider using Twimbow?

Twimbow lets you do things faster. It uses the latest web technologies (HTML5 and so on) to provide users a way better interface than any web and standalone client. Currently in closed pre-alpha, Twimbow now provides only 10% of the features it will offer when in beta. As a blogger myself, there is no better way to interact with your readers and track mentions and backlinks through the monitor.

Who’s behind Twimbow and what’s their background?

Myself (@filos on Twitter), 10 years in VoIP and Web 2.0, CEO of the main company (Abbeynet) for which Twimbow is,  for now, a side project, but it could become a standalone company very soon. I’m a power Twitter user and I used all the clients out there. I think I know pretty well what users want and put together a long document of specifications (always a work in progress) that led to Twimbow. Then there is @marchitos on Twitter, leading (and only, for now) developer, expert in design, web engineering and web development. Plus all my colleagues at Abbeynet who are helping use with all the other surrounding activities (hosting etc.)

What new features are you planning?

There are lots of new features. Tagging of tweets, deep integration with RSS readers and a lot more. Again, 90% of the planned features are still missing. Stay tuned 🙂

Twimbow is in alpha – how can people try it out?

Just apply for an invite at http://www.twimbow.com. There is a long waiting list, but they should get an invite in no more than two weeks time (hopefully).

Want to move to the head of the line? The first 10 people who comment on this post will get a Twimbow invite – thanks, Luca.

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13 Comments

  1. Rebecca Leaman July 15, 2010
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