I have been pretty much advocating web-based Twitter clients over their resource-hogging counter-parts for quite a while now, so I was pretty intrigued by the news that Sobees and Seesmic have both released browser-based clients. Most of the popular desktop clients for Twitter and other social media services use Adobe AIR, which takes resource usage to a whole different level. Both clients are nice to look at, but lacking a lot in the feature department. This is painfully clear in comparison to other clients already in this space like Tweetvisor and PeopleBrowsr, but both Sobees and Seesmic are alpha software and we should expect new features to be added soon.
Both provide the most basic Twitter features. You can view your timeline, replies and DM’s. They both have a multi-column view, much like Tweetdeck and PeopleBrowsr, along with an option for a single column. Both allow you to add columns for custom search topics. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.
Seesmic Compressed View and Threaded Messages
Seesmic has a couple of features which caught my eye. The first being the ability to view your timeline in a compressed format, much like your Gmail inbox. Each tweet is compressed to one line, showing only the sender name and the tweet. This allows you to quickly scan through your timeline. Favorite tweets with a single click or hover the user name to DM, Follow/Unfollow, or view their profile. Click any single tweet to expand it and Reply, Retweet, or report as spam.
The second feature is threaded messages. The Messages button gives you a list of those you’ve recently exchanged DM’s with. Clicking a name shows you the threaded discussion you had with that person with a reply box at the top. Each name you click opens a new column for that individual. This should go a long way in preventing DM Fail. It would be nice if they extended this view to Replies as well.
I would say that Sobees has the best looking interface I’ve seen so far, but the huge Sobees banner across the top of the screen completely negates how nice their Silverlight-based interface really is. Sobees does provide an option for groups, which is a plus, but they’re a pain to manage (which is true of most clients that offer this feature). The single feature that sets Sobeess apart is Anti-SPAM, which lets you filter out specific words or phrases so that you never see them in your timeline.
As I said, Sobees and Seesmic are both still alpha and we will probably see many changes coming in the near future. For now, I’ll stick with clients that are established in this space and have the features I need. Seesmic will probably do well because of brand recognition, Sobees because it’s something shiny and new. In either case, it remains to be seen whether they will actually put enough effort into these new web offerings to compete.Category: web 2.0 | Tags: peoplebrowsr, Seesmic, sobees, tweetvisor