Blog Post

Twinkle, Twinkle…Twitter Star

Yesterday evening, at a beachside dinner organized by our investors, True Ventures, I sat at a table full of relatively young entrepreneurs (I’m pretty sure I raised the average age by a few years.) Most of us had iPhones — both old and new — and most were Twitter users.

So it should come as no surprise that we all had an opinion about Twitterrfic, an iPhone client for Twitter. To sum up everyone’s thoughts in one word: horrific. Scrolling through messages should come naturally; it doesn’t. And the UI manages to leave you feeling about as satisfied as a cup of noodles warmed with hot tap water.

But we won’t have to use it anymore, for Twinkle by Gogo Apps, previously a jailbreak app, has just hit the iTunes Apps Store. Its UI is remarkably intuitive and easy to use. As John Gruber writes, “It’s an interesting contrast with Twitterrific — even ignoring cosmetic differences, the two apps take significantly different UI approaches.” I think that’s an understatement.

The best aspect of the service is the ability to find a person using Twinkler near you using the LBS feature of the iPhone — though currently it doesn’t seems to be working. This could turn Twinkle-Twitter into a social experience, a simpler and easier version of other complicated LBS-based, friend finder applications.

I like how one can quickly look at all direct messages in a separate window. In fact, there are numerous little things that I find appealing about this app. For instance, it takes just two clicks to start following someone on the feed. Sending private messages is easy and looking up profiles is even easier. What I don’t like: Not having the ability to quickly see replies.

My Rating on this iPhone app: 4 out of 5.

26 Responses to “Twinkle, Twinkle…Twitter Star”

  1. ok – i am soo lost with twinkle – i thoroughly enjoy it – i love the app – but since evening – its been crashing on me when I load up the app.

    It loads – and then starts receiving the messages/tweets of people around me; and then all of a sudden just goes blank – and then goes to iPhone home screen. it keeps happening – i restarted the phone, shut down the iphone, deleted and reinstalled twitter – everything I thought about – i did – but nothing – nada :( seriously WTF !! now im getting annoyed at it!!

  2. That right, they are experiencing outages, and you are experiences outrageous operation for 100.00 pa
    If you don’t like it you can always go back to .mac.
    Steve Jobs should live so long.

  3. @Thibault,, @notgetting it… there are many different ways of looking at it – for some it is a marketing channel, for others it is a community building tool, but in reality it is a way to stay connected to friends and family. Unfortunately, the last and the only useful way of using Twitter is something that gets lost in all the noise around twitter. that said, i like my own description of twitter: a tool to amplify self narcissism.

  4. @Ste e

    What you need to do is go to the identity page and then basically sign-up right from there. make a name and an email address and you are signed in. it is as simple as that.

    i would recommend getting a new email account to ensure that your current one still keep it sanctity.

  5. Thibault

    There is some truth to notgettingit’s description of Twittering as juvenlisation of adulthood. I agree to some extent though not all the way. There is a lot of “Look at me! Look at me!” types of finger pointing in Twitter.

  6. Downloaded &installed Twinkle. Entered my Twitter acct. info. Program told me that I needed a Tapulious acct. Ok, how do I get the account? Nothing on their site that I could find. Went ahead and uninstalled it. Hey Twinkle developers…give us a clue how to get an account!

  7. Alan Jacobs

    That helps, Master W. I didn’t realize that Twinkle allowed following and unfollowing, which is very nice. However, Twinkle’s refusal to allow users to turn off the “Nearby” tweets makes it unworkable for me – I don’t want to follow someone’s life just because he or she lives near me. I suppose I’ll just have to wait for Twiterrific improvements.

    (Also, replying in Twitterific is a double tap and a tap, or just one tap if you’re not in list view.)

  8. Master William

    I have to agree with Om. The Twitterific UI is horrible.

    Three clicks to reply to a tweet?

    No ability to see previous tweets from a user?

    No quick access to DMs?

    No ability to follow

    No ability to unfollow

  9. notgettingit

    iTODD is RIGHT!!!!

    who in the world has time to play on twitter, facebook and all of those social communities. i use linkedin to get found by recruiters and find business people to cold call. but i don’t get twittering. anyone who seriously works for a living and doesn’t waste their employers paid for time by being online doesn’t twitter or post facebook responses or any of this BS. it represents the ultimate juvenilization of adulthood. Look at me. Look at me.

  10. Alan Jacobs

    I’m also puzzled by these comments, in several ways. Users scroll through messages in Twitterific exactly the same way they scroll through messages in Twinkle, with a flick of the finger. There is literally no difference at all, neither in basic design – new messages at the top, etc. – or (on my iPhone) in performance. The big GUI difference between the two apps, as Frank R said, is in the use of color, and I very much prefer the muted tones of Twitterific. What am I missing? It seems to me that if you’re going to call an app “horrific” you should at least explain what prompts you to use such strong language.

  11. Frank R.

    Yeah, when I think great UI I always think hot pink, bright aqua blue, stars and speech bubbles. If you and your friends think the “horrific” tag should hang on Twitterrific and not Twinkle, you’re smokin something.