I must admit I missed the hype bus surrounding Twitter since it’s launch in 2006 not a lot had changed until I got Twitterrific – a small App for the iPhone from Iconfactory.
Twitterrific comes as a free ad supported version, or a premium paid for product. I am currently sticking with the free version for the moment. It brings all the features of Twitter to your phone in one easy to use application. There are countless other ways to update your Twitter and read Tweets from your phone, but after trying a few other products that do much the same and reading reviews I went with Twitterrific. By doing so I have suddenly realised, what to me at least, Twitter is all about. A voyeur’s social network.
You see because almost everyone’s Tweets are not set to be private, you get little glimpses into these otherwise stranger’s lives. Because it is now in the palm of my hand I found myself strangely sucked into reading, in a 140 characters or less, what those geographically close to me were saying.
It seemed that at 8am on a Saturday morning, London was waking up to a chorus of people asking ‘why am I up so early’ while many with hangovers and asking ‘what can be taken to help my headache’. Yes it is on the whole rather pointless, not that Twitter can be knocked, for it has been a source of information from the troubles in Iran to the recent devastating Earthquake in Haiti.
I guess the problem I had before was the fact that all this information was out there, but to get at it meant going to Twitter.com and seeing what had been going on. I find myself now seemingly transfixed by a constant stream of information, randomness and intrigue. It is like have the world’s mobile text messages appearing before you, or a virtual source of snippets of conversation you may overhear as people walk past in the street. You have no idea what was said before, or what will be said as you leave ear shot, but for that moment you were just filled in on something that is going on in that person’s life. To me, Twitter is much the same.
It is said that many people who have a Twitter account use it for a bit and then never Tweet again. I think this is true, certainly it was for me, but the ‘hardcore’ Tweeters out there can be a very useful source of information. Recently BBC’s iPlayer was down for maintenance. This made it to Twitter, and through that I was able to know when it was back up and working. I let others do the hard work of checking back every few minutes and being in their own ways, a live feed of news relating to a very specific story.
I feel I am more a user of Tweets, rather than a supplier of them. Whilst I like the ability to publish small updates, I have never been a great lover of text messages when they get into small conversations; I give up and call the person. With Twitter it is a great source of global and local information, and one can search Twitter for specific trends and information that is relevant to you (or that you just want to see what others are talking about) but Twitterrific brings everything altogether in an easy to use and surprisingly complete package for nothing. Well worth a go if you have an iPhone.