First, I have a few personal requirements in a Twitter client. I know not everybody’s requirements list is the same, but mine are important. They are:
- Web-based: The majority of my Twitter usage is actually done on the iPhone. But I don’t want a native iPhone app because I like to maintain the same Twitter workflow whether I’m mobile or not.
- Mobile: This goes along with the first, but the app needs to be usable in both desktop and mobile formats. Preferably, it would be the same interface for both.
- Full-featured: The mobile version of Twitter.com is decent, but lacks some important features (like DMs, which you need to switch to the full twitter.com to access).
So, the only app that has filled these requirements is Hahlo. I love Hahlo. Like, a lot. I really have no complaints about it (recent downtime troubles aside). My newest pain point has nothing to do with Hahlo, but has everything to do with my growing Twitter network. When I’m online and working, I have no problem skimming the tweets from my entire stream, seeing what’s going on in tech and the world. But the problem is if I’ve been offline for a while and I want to catch up. I just can’t catch up on everything I’ve missed.
This is why some people use Twitter as a real-time thing and don’t worry about catching up. But I have a large number of people in my stream that I want to see EVERY tweet from. It’s not everybody, and that’s the problem. With Hahlo (and every single other web-based Twitter app), I either catch up on everyone or nobody.
I tried some hacks, such as subscribing to some people (via a FriendFeed list) in Google Reader. But that’s delayed and it mixes in what I’ve already read with what I’ve missed. It was just more trouble than it was worth. So, I turned to Twalala. And it worked.
When it was first released, I used Twalala as a bit of a novelty, muting a few phrases so I’d never see them in my Twitter stream (like those damn Qik.com links). I hadn’t gone as far a muting people. That has changed.
A couple weeks ago, I opened Twalala, took a deep breath, and started muting the crap out of my follower list. Who made the cut? People I know personally and industry folks I REEEEALLY want to see everything from. I believe I muted 150 or so people. Sounds shady, right? But no. The thing is, Twalala is my “catch-up” app. I don’t use it all the time. In fact, I still might use Hahlo a bit more than Twalala.
Remember when I said that muting was only half of what makes Twalala cool? The other half is the complete opposite—white listing. If you “white list” certain terms, they will always be highlighted (in yellow) in your stream… even if you’ve muted the person that said it. This is perfect for @replies and brand monitoring.
How can Twalala become my full-time Twitter client?
I’m still using multiple clients (Twalala, Hahlo, and twitter.com), but how far away is Twalala from being a one-stop solution for me? Here’s what I’d need:
- An unfiltered stream: It’s great that I can mute people and phrases. But that means I’m locked into those settings (unless I remove the filters one by one). It would be nice to have a view that shows my friend stream unfiltered along with one that shows it filtered. Right now, the main tabs in Twalala are “home | @replies | direct messages”. I’d recommend “all | filtered | @replies | DMs”. That way I could see my entire list in one tab, but also see the list filtered a click away.
- The ability to follow/unfollow: I’d love to be able to follow someone from within Twalala. Right now I have to hop to a different client to do that.
- The ability to favorite: Because sometimes @wrycoder is so good that I need to jump to twitter.com to fave that ish.
- Profile data: Right now, I need to click out of Twalala to see a user’s basic profile info. On their page, I’d like to see bio, number of followers, number of following, and URL.
- Remember me: A remember me button would be nice, especially with mobile. Sometimes I open up Hahlo when I’d rather open Twalala because I need one click to get to my stream on Hahlo and (lemme count…) about 20 to do the same in Twalala.
- iPhone-optimized input: Not sure why, but posting a tweet has gotten pretty slow. You need to punch a bunch of letters on the iPhone and wait for Twalala to catch up. I admit sometimes I read in Twalala and jump to Hahlo to tweet.
That’s it! Not to much, right?
So, give Twalala a look. I might just be what you need to make Twitter work better for you.