Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Twitter: Twitter v. Echofon for iPhone

The Twitter application is pretty self-explanatory. You update your followers with a status that’s no longer than 140 characters. Statuses let your followers know where you are, share pictures, videos or links to a story. It’s a good way to get news from people you know or people you want to keep tabs on. For journalists it is a good way to see what news other people are looking at. Many times breaking news stories will be a trending topic. Trending topics are simply phrases, words or hash tags (#) that are popular and have the most mentions. With hash tags you can connect your tweet about an event or issue to other users thoughts on the same topic. This way it’s easy to keep track of what others are saying.

This application allows you to upload photos and video from your camera roll, or to record in the application. There's geotagging and you can link your account to your Facebook, so you're tweets become your Facebook statuses. There are different apps you can try that all relate to Twitter. To each their own, but I happen to like the traditional one. It’s easiest to see, use, and it’s not complicated to figure out. If you’re looking for something like a Tweet Deck, this is not for you. I tweet already, and if you are already accustom to tweeting about random events in your day this application will fit right in.

Echofon is very similar to the twitter application on iPhone. To write a new twitter post, click the pencil on a piece of paper in the upper righthand corner. To add a person, click on the button with two people on it. Simply start to type in the person you want to mention and if you are friends with them, their name with quickly appear. This is much faster than writing out their full name after an @ sign. You can also add your location by pressing the geotag button, which looks like a circle with four marks on it. This will put a line under your tweet with your location. There is also the option of adding a picture/video from either your camera roll or you can choose to shoot a video or a photo.

Everything is very self-explanatory for this application if you know anything about twitter. The bottom row of buttons has your home (your timeline), mentions where your @handle is tweeted, private messages, lists you can build to see certain groups of people and you can search tweets or for new people.

My favorite thing about this application for a long time (before #newtwitter emerged) was that it is very simple to see a conversation between two people. If two social media experts are having a conversation, simply click the tweet. Under the tweet it will say "in reply to _____". Click that and it will take you to the full conversation, which looks and feels just like text messages on an iPhone.

The only thing I don't really like, which is just picky on my part is the timeline refresh button is the refresh arrow and now a pull down to refresh menu. This is really just me being picky, because the timeline refreshes itself every so often. Other than that, this is by far my favorite of the two twitter clients.

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