Tonight I glanced at my Twitter feed and saw a comment about TweetChat, talking about its virtues in hashtagged discussions. In the stream was a pointer to a lively discussion underway, and thought “Why not? Let’s see what this toy does.” Before I say anything else I should add that I have no financial or business relationship with the TweetChat developers, and in fact had no idea it existed before tonight.
TweetChat aims to make participation in topical hashtagged discussions on Twitter easier. It has a straightforward, single pane web interface with a clean, simple design. After a first long session with a large group, I’d say it accomplishes this goal well.
You can set refreshes to be as fast as every 5 seconds or as slow as 60 seconds, and if the conversation is going much too quickly, there is even a pause. For many uses, the default of 10 seconds would be fine. You can set the font size to larger or smaller to your taste. It automatically adds the main discussion hashtag to any updates you post, and has single click funtions for reply, retweet, user feature/block and favorite.
Everything lives on one page, so you can participate, read the discussion stream and adjust things without jumping away from the discussion. The refresh is fast enough so that even in a busy discussion there is little waiting time, enabling a smooth discussion flow.
Nicely done. I think I’ll be using TweetChat again. My only nagging concern is that participating in these higher volume chat-styled conversations on Twitter may annoy regular followers, who did not necessarily opt in for a high volume of updates. Do you think that Tweets have a short enough lifespan that people won’t notice an occasional stream of discussion?