As a certified (or is it certifiable?) Twitter power user I am very finicky when it comes to choosing a Twitter client.
For me, Twitter.com is out of the question. There’s just not enough going on. I have to click around to see my @replies and DMs. No columns? That’s a dealbreaker.
When I’m at my computer and have a Twitter client open I want to be able to easily scan all of my activity. I want to see my @replies, search terms I’m monitoring and DMs easily. Seesmic’s Web App actually goes one step further and has already integrated lists! I can monitor my lists right there in their own little column. It’s enough to make this geek practically giddy.
TweetDeck has been my go to desktop client for quite some time, but with the evolution of Twitter Web Apps I find myself using them more and more even when I’m on my own machine. It’s the same reason I’m such a Gmail fanatic, it’s by far the best web based email out there. Once a web app can compete, or beat a desktop client (for any application) my choice is going to be a web app because I like my experience to be the same no matter where I’m logging in from. It’s why I’m excited to see Seesmic starting to nail this.
The first thing you’ll notice about Seesmic Web is how clean the interface is. From the colors to the layout, it’s just clean. While you have access to a lot of information on the screen it doesn’t look cluttered or hard to read.
UI is one of the most important features in a Twitter client. You can have the best, most powerful client in the world but if I look at it and it’s hard to read or just flat out ugly, I’m probably going to move on.
Besides the obvious aesthetic benefits of a good UI, functionality is a major concern. The thing that can transform a good UI into a great one is efficiency, ease of use, user friendliness. Call it what you will but Seesmic Web has it.
Twitter is more than just the real-time web, it’s a massive repository of information and insight by some of the brightest, most influential people in the world. I constantly use the favorite feature to mark tweets I want to follow-up on later. Twitter has managed to become practically my sole source for post ideas. Why guess what I should write about when Twitter is right there telling me what is on people’s minds at that very moment?
That being said it’s important to me to be able to quickly and easily favorite tweets, follow people and DM folks all while generally keeping up with the stream. Seesmic does incredibly well with all of those features and more. You can easily favorite a tweet by clicking the star next to it (not rocket science but way easier than favoriting a tweet on TweetDeck).
Seesmic has a very cool feature that allows you to take a peek at a photo before you actually click on the link. This is not only incredibly cool, it’s a great time saver and can potentially save you a heap of embarrassment if you were unwittingly click on my not-so-discreet picture of my Lady Godiva Halloween costume. All you have to do is hover over the link to an image and you get a cool little thumbnail sneak-peek.
When you hover over a username you get all the options you need right there in front of you.
- View the user’s profile
- Post Message (which apparently is French for Direct message ;) I kid, Loic)
- Follow or Unfollow the user
- And even add them to a list!
Now that’s what I call efficient.
There are a few features lacking that we will hopefully see integrated as Seesmic continues to evolve it’s web app.
- I’d like to see the ability to upload photos/images via Seesmic web, preferably to my hosting provider of choice, namely Posterous.
- I’d like to be able to integrate my j.mp API key to the link shortener so I can keep track of my links and stats.
- Although I like having DMs off to the side and keeping them clean, I’d like the option to have them as a column as well. There are times when I’m having multiple DM conversations and it’s easier to have that as a column so I can see what’s going on.
- Ability to re-size or auto-size columns. I think this used to be a feature but seems to have gone away. I use a 1920×1080 monitor and I can pretty easily fit four columns in there, but without any ability to re-size the fourth one gets cut off some and makes me scroll horizontally, which I hate.
Those are four things I would ultimately like to see as new features roll out. That being said you have to Seesmic credit as being the first client of any kind to get on lists and provide functionality for them.
So, whether you’re looking for a full-time web app for Twitter or a part-time app you can use when you’re away from your own beloved desktop app, give Seesmic a try and let me know what you think.