The twouble with twitter

September 9th, 2010 in .Handhelds & Smartphones .Products
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It’s been a while since I last posted about twitter and there have been some fascinating new developments, trends and apps that have come out since then. This truly is an active and rapidly expanding form of social media.

According to twitter CEO, Evan Williams, twitter now has over 145 million users and nearly 300, 000 apps. Now that’s a lot of people. Of course, many accounts consist of only one or two tweets but that is still an impressive number of human beings writing things in 140 words or less. Something I still struggle to do.

What really amused me, though, was a recent article on TechRadar that talked about how Justin Bieber (yeah, I know!) apparently has three percent of the site’s infrastructure. There are actually racks of servers dedicated to him. Racks. Of. Servers.

Are you not completely dumbfounded by that? I am.

Although I did find it very interesting to see who the big names in the twitterverse were and who else gets servers laid on for them like conquering twitter heroes (or is that tweroes?). Apparently the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga and Conan O’Brien are the big ones.

Which doesn’t lead me neatly into my next thing, but I’m going to do it anyway, the latest applications and tools that will rock your twitter world. If you’ve been lucky enough to score a Garmin-ASUS phone with the Android platform, then you’ll be delighted to know that there are some beauties for you to try.

Visualisation tools are a growing trend for twitter users and, when you think of the enormous quantity of information being churned out by twitter, increasingly essential. I have to confess that this did make me very, very competitive. Tweepskey is one good spot to start and, if you haven’t already, you have to try isparade. That is a moment of surreal fun. Other lovelies include Revisit, Tweetflare, MentionMap and Twistori.

Moving back to the apps you can now get for the steadily growing Android platform, there are quite a few to choose from.  Some of the most well known include Hoot Suite and Seesmic, both offering some excellent features but pulled down by issues that will hopefully be ironed out in the future. I find Seesmic to be a little frustrating in that it can’t list-out conversation threads, and Hoot Suite doesn’t let you create lists. I think that’s an essential tool when you have thousands of people to track.

The elegance of Touiteur is one to look at. This app has the easy access tabs at the bottom for quick messaging and you can colour tag accounts. It’s going to cost you a bit, but really less than £2 for an app is hardly a chore, is it?

A more expensive version (the free version has an ad banner that has the potential to drive you insane) is TweetCaster. This happens to be my final choice as I fell for the whole “shake the phone to refresh the screen” feature. That is pure brilliance.

The thing is, you’re probably going to have to download and play around with most of these apps until you find the one that you like. One man’s Hoot Suite is another man’s silent scream.

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