Twitter, the fastest growing social network in the world (it grew 1448 percent y-o-y between May 2008 and May 2009), invariably comes up in every conversation about communication or new-media. Vice-versa, every event of any consequence (or otherwise) makes its way onto the Twitter-sphere. Something that was developed to send out short status messages (status was, in fact, the working title of the product) has found itself such differentiated value.
Much of it is due to its simplicity, but equally the result of the variegated effect that many of the services built around its core offer. Here are some of the applications and services enhancing the Twitter experience that you may want to try out as well:
Twitter Clients – Using Twitter’s API, these clients let you access the service the way you want. Multiple iterations allow you to choose the interface and the functions you prefer:
- TwitterFox runs as an extension on the Firefox window itself, with Twitter updates from friends popping up at set regular intervals
- TweetDeck is still in beta, but hugely popular, for, it lets you see all you need to on one page, for faster and easier twittering
- Destroy Twitter allows you to operate multiple accounts, and runs on Adobe AIR, with great functionality making it a one-stop web application for Twitter
- Dabr often called Twitter on steroids, is the most-loved Twitter application for the mobile. Being an application that incorporates user-feedback at the bat of an eyelid, this isn’t surprising at all!
Finding followers & friends – You can build your Twitter-stream based on various criteria, like people who match your interest levels, those who live near you, thought-leaders from your sphere, etc.:
- WhoShouldIFollow helps you find people with interests similar to yours as showcased in your respective tweets
- Twellow and WeFollow are two self-serve twitter directories where people list themselves based on their interests and can so be found accordingly. Each interest tag lists out all the people in that category, charted popularity-wise
- Twubble adds to your social-graph by listing out people who many of your existing friends may be following. It also has a locality filter to better the sorting process
- TwitDir is a Twitter directory that simply gives you the top 100 people at any given point
Search & Track – Track and listen in on conversations happening around current events & happenings, your brand or simply your favorite music-genre:
- Hash-Tags make your keywords search-friendly and allow you to track keywords of your choice, while TweetScan charts all conversations happening on Twitter live, which can then be further segmented by hash-tags/keywords
- Other than the classic Twitter-Search, TweetActive and Twibuzz graph the activity on your keywords in real-time, which can then be compared with other keywords over time as well
- Twistori tells you (quite literally) what people are loving and hating, thinking or feeling in real time!
- Happn is a localized search which shows you what people of your city are tweeting about. It only covers Mumbai as of now from India, but it’s a cool application anyhow!
Share – Share photos, audio/video, files and links with friends:
- AutoPostr shares your Flickr photos every time they are uploaded if ‘autopostr’ is added as a photo-tag photo, whereas Twitpic lets you post pictures directly on Twitter, along with a message, while also keeping track of how many views and responses it receives
- Bit.ly and Tweetburner shorten and share links and tracks views. They also let you customize links.
- Twitsay shares audio clips, and Twitddeo is for video-sharing. Twitcam and Qik let you live-stream videos
- TweetCube and FileSocial allow you to upload and share several kinds of files on Twitter, like mp3, avi, ppt, doc, zip files, plug-ins, pictures, etc.
Analyze – Interpret your activity and see where you’re going, to understand the service and its potential better, or just to have some fun!
- TwitGraph gives a visual progression of your statistics, while TweetStats shows bar-graphs of your ongoing weekly activity
- Tweet Beep tracks your specific tags, etc. on a regular basis whereas Twemes tracks all active tags in one place
- To judge volume of conversation on Twitter, Tweet-Volume tracks and compares volume for different keywords
- Twitter-Grader and Twinfluence grade your influence based on your power, reach and authority. They employ several logarithms including factors like number of followers, follower/following ratio, power of followers, frequency of updates, engagement, etc. to reach their conclusions
- Twitter-Friends analyses all the above, and more, and presents your engagement in a visual, interpretative manner for you to compare and analyze
Twitter Plus – There are several of these innovative services that let you do more in the same old 140 characters:
- GroupTweet and TweetKnot are services that allow you to create Twitter groups where friends can be invited for sharing messages in a more focused manner
- With Twitchat and Tinychat, you can create your own chat-rooms of your twitter friends for exclusive discussions that you may not want spilling over to your entire stream
- AutoDMer and TwitResponse send an auto-response to every new follower, or even set updates at a regular frequency
- Twitter backgrounds has a whole array of backgrounds to pick for your Twitter account, and also offers specific paid customization
- Write-up lets you share longer text through a link in a Tweet, while LinkBunch clubs multiple links for you to share at one go
This list is not exhaustive, merely a selection that as a combination, works best for most of my needs, and hopefully will help you too. There are several places that link to exhaustive listings of tools and applications, like Mashable, Twitdom, et al. Which Twitter-tools have you found useful? Do add them to the list!
Disclaimer: Views of authors are personal and do not represent the views of Blogworks, or any of its clients.