It’s been about 18 months since I last reviewed rainbow colored Twitter tool, Twimbow, and in that time, a lot has changed. Here’s how founder Luca Filigheddu describes it:
Twimbow is a web application that helps users engage their network of social media friends more effectively, by organizing and enriching their online conversations.
He says it’s more than a Twitter client:
Twimbow is way more than a Twitter client. It’s a social media hub where users can “consume” news and media coming from their social media friends, discuss on top of that and organize their conversations online through the powerful features offered by the service. Moreover, Twimbow is the best service in terms of filtering noise and stuff that is not relevant for you. It helps users focus on what really matters for them.
So, how does this actually work? To test it, I signed up for a new Twimbow account for another Twitter account I managed. Getting in was as simple as signing in with Google and authorizing Twitter, then I got access to the home screen.
When you’re used to the Twitter web interface or the relatively muted Hootsuite or Tweetdeck screens, Twimbow can seem like an assault on the senses, but it soon settles down into something understandable. I changed mine from the default black background to a more soothing white.
The home screen has three columns: personal buzz, home buzz and a search column.
Twimbow – the Home Screen
Column 1 has everything that happens in your Twitter account, color coded. Across the top are bars with colors
- for your own posts (blue),
- @replies (green),
- DMs you send (yellow),
- DMs you get (orange),
- your RTs (pink),
- RTs of your stuff (pale green) and
- favorite tweets (red star).
You can click on any one of those to include or exclude them from the stream. This is a good way to catch up on what’s been happening, assisted by the red number indicating the number of unread tweets in different categories. This works well if you are monitoring a single account, though you can add up to three. Each tweet in the column has the appropriate colored bar at the left side, along with text in the same color, so you can see what’s what at a glance.
Column 2 allows you to label and color code people who post. The defaults are family, friends and coworkers, but you can add labels and color code them by clicking on the color wheel and changing the color allocated. Once this is done you can filter your stream by clicking on the colored boxes at the top to include or exclude particular categories.
I see this as a great way of highlighting tweets from people you don’t want to miss. You can also choose to view a particular list in this column, simply by selecting it.
Column 3 is where you can see searches or trending topics. When you first sign in, it defaults to searches about Twimbow, but this is easy to change.
Other Twimbow Features
So what about tweeting? It’s easy to do by clicking on the new message box at the top of the screen, and you can even color your tweets, which is a nice gimmick. While it’s mostly useful if everyone you know is using Twimbow, you could use it as a personal filing system for your tweets.
If you hover over an individual tweet, there’s a little bar offering old and new style retweets and reply. Click on the bar to pin it and see other features: DM, favorite and share by Facebook, email and Google Buzz (perhaps that last should be updated to Google+).
Digging into the settings, there are a number of ways you can customize your Twimbow experience.
For example, you can enable audio notifications of new tweets, send tweets when you press enter, expand all tools in the little bar automatically and auto-refresh tweets.
You can also use Twimbow’s built in reader to see links, videos and photos.
You can customize the navigation bar, add filters to get rid of tweets you don’t want to see, use your own bit.ly account, enable anti-spam and use shortcuts.
Twimbow also includes post scheduling and the ability to search for people or keywords.
Monitoring Twitter with Twimbow
When you click on an avatar, you get the option to send a reply or message, block, unfollow or report for spam. You can also see the person’s Twitter statistics and Klout score and send them to the Monitor.
The monitor is where you can keep track of users, lists, keywords and channels. It sits quietly at the bottom of your home screen (accessible with one click) and updates you when there is something new on a topic you are monitoring. This is a useful feature.
Luca Filigheddu Speaks
As you can see, Twimbow is a pretty comprehensive Twitter tool. To make sure I didn’t miss anything, I asked Luca a few more questions.
Luca, what are the best new features introduced in the past year?
We just introduced the ability to see “things” as they happen, for example. We are now connected to Twitter with a big pipe where status updates are pushed in real time and this opens the doors to a lot of new features we will introduce in the following versions. We also keep track of our users’ activity so that we will be able to recommend new interesting content to the users.
What other improvements have you made since my last review?
You reviewed it when we just released our first closed alpha. During that period, when Twimbow was by invitation only, we took the time to listen to our users and spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it stand out of the crowd. Given the buzz Twimbow is now generating all over the world (just Google it or search for “twimbow” on Twitter), we are very proud of what we did and even more excited about what we will release in the following weeks. For the record, Twimbow has been open to everyone since July this year.
What new features are on the way that we should get excited about?
Twimbow will become a full-featured social reader and media player. We will introduce some “widgets” around content consumption and sharing that will definitely make Twimbow stickier and way more than a “Twitter client”. Facebook and Google+ are on the way, too, and the big milestone for us will be the release of an iPhone and iPad version, due very soon.
Last but not least, when we introduce more social networks, we will make sure the “online identity” of your social friends will be consolidated so that you will not have to pay attention on which network / medium you are using when communicating with a friend (who is likely to have a different avatar and username across multiple social networks).
Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Twimbow. What do you think about it?
Sharon Hurley Hall has almost 25 years of experience writing professionally – as a journalist, an academic writer, a blogger, a ghost writer and an online copy writer. She is the author of a Kindle ebook titled Getting Started in Blogging and has been running Get Paid To Write Online since 2005 to help other writers improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Check out Sharon’s Google+ profile to find links to all her social media hangouts.