tweasier

Tweasier: A Promising Twitter Web App

The following is a post on up and coming Twitter web app Tweasier written by Brabble CEO and Founder Patrick Mackaronis.

While most Twitter clients offer features aimed both at a general audience and at business users, the success of HootSuite in the business and corporate market has led to competitors following the same specialized route. One recent entrant into this field is Tweasier, a U.K.-based company whose web-based client is focused on detailed statistics. But Tweasier also wants to position itself as a client for individual users, and here its current version has a few too many shortcomings to make it a replacement for the more established players.

Tweasier is focused solely on Twitter and lacks support for other social networks

As with other web-based clients, Tweasier requires you to sign up for an account so it can manage your statistics. Once you’ve registered and logged in, you can add multiple Twitter accounts and manage them simultaneously. Unfortunately, Tweasier is strictly a Twitter client and nothing else. Where HootSuite also provides support for Facebook and LinkedIn, you won’t find any such support for other services here. If you need to post status updates across a variety of social networks, Tweasier isn’t the client for you.

Where Seesmic Web and HootSuite use a multi-column interface (and HootSuite further organizes its columns through browser-style tabs), Tweasier’s presentation is strictly single-column. Switching between the main timeline, replies, and direct messages is done by way of the menu bar on the left side. These options can also be accessed from buttons on your profile page. Tweasier is initially slow in loading data from Twitter- in testing with an account with 1094 followers, 444 favorites, and a number of replies, the reply and DM columns initially refused to show any tweets whatsoever but fully loaded the columns after fifteen minutes of usage.

Tweasier lacks real-time loading and its interactions with Twitter are slow

Loading in general is an issue for Tweasier. Now that TweetDeck for Google Chrome has proven that it’s possible to employ Twitter’s User Streams API to enable real-time updating in a web-based client, there’s no excuse for not doing so. But just like HootSuite and Seesmic Web, Tweasier lacks real-time streaming updates. It’s actually even more annoying in this respect than HootSuite, because at least that client allows you to manually set the interval for refreshing the timeline. If Tweasier contains such an option, it’s buried somewhere that isn’t obvious. The FAQ states that Tweasier tries to manage the API in such a way as to avoid rate limit errors, but gives no indication of its methodology for API management.

Options for interacting with tweets are the most limited of any current client. There are only three buttons accompanying each tweet: open in new window, reply, and favorite. This means Tweasier lacks a native retweet option- you either have to manually copy and paste the tweet, or click “open in new window”, which takes you to Twitter itself and allows access to its retweet button. But isn’t the whole point of a Twitter client to replace the Twitter web interface? Tweasier locates buttons for following and unfollowing and sending direct messages beneath users’ profile pictures, and these functions work as advertised.

Options for tweeting in Tweasier are limited compared to TweetDeck or Seesmic

But apart from offering a scheduled tweet feature comparable to HootSuite’s, the options for tweeting are sorely limited. There are no pop-up notifications of any kind, no media uploading features, and the same inconvenient URL shortening found in all other web clients except TweetDeck. Tweasier has an option for linking to your Bit.ly account, but in testing the shortened links did not transfer to Bit.ly automatically as they do with the desktop version of TweetDeck.

Where Tweasier excels is in providing a wealth of statistical information. Within the timeline itself, it lists the number of followers for each user and the client used for tweeting, and while this pales in comparison to the data Seesmic Desktop 2 provides in the same space, it’s still more than you’ll find in most web-based clients. Tweasier also offers detailed metrics options from its Statistics menu, with graphs and charts covering how often and when you tweet, when you get the most replies, frequency of retweets, and link sharing.

Tweasier’s detailed stats features are undermined by technical issues

The problem is that the statistics pages are plagued with technical issues. Frequently, they refused to load at all, yielding an error page instead. When they did work, they loaded incomplete data. The friends and followers graphs were missing a year and a half’s worth of information, and the link statistics chart showed only links shortened by Bit.ly through Tweasier and not other links associated with the same Bit.ly account.

Tweasier is clearly very much a work in progress, and it should improve once many of the technical issues are ironed out. Still, it’s hard to see it appealing to individuals who are already using established Twitter clients. It lacks too many of the features that TweetDeck and Seesmic have caused us to take for granted. But if the developers add support for more services and improve its stability, it could easily compete with HootSuite in the business market and with people who are interested in charts and graphs.

Patrick Mackaronis is the CEO and Founder of Brabble, and can be reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

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