Yesterday, the big news for the identi.ca crowd was an answer to their wishes: Identi.ca is now supported in the AIR app Twhirl. Why is the support for this open-source Twitter clone so important? For one, it makes Identi.ca that much more of a useful service, but it also shows how quickly Twhirl can adapt to add the latest and greatest online communities to its service. More importantly though, Twhirl’s support for Identi.ca means you can now tap into a full, real-time social stream all from one application.
The Real-Time Social Web
With the addition of Identi.ca, Twhirl now supports for four of the most important social streaming apps: Twitter, FriendFeed, Seesmic, and Identi.ca. These apps are different than traditional social networks like MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo, etc., because they are, for the most part, about immediate interactions. Seeing tweets, “dents,” shared social streams on FriendFeed, and even updates of your friends’ recorded videos (perhaps the slowest stream of the bunch) is a much different user experience than when we interact with the large application-filled social networking platforms. Instead, the new social network is always on.
That “always on” feature is exactly why social media enthusiasts are dealing with “information overload” issues. Because we’re somewhat addicted to these types of interactions, we’re hesitant to log off for fear of “missing something.” However, for the regular user, always on social networking doesn’t have to be a source of stress – it just means that when you go online, socializing with others just becomes part of the overall experience of being on the internet. For today’s digital natives this extra information stream isn’t worrisome, as uber-multitaksers themselves, they’re more adept at dealing with “noise,” so this real-time social web is just another channel from them to tune in to.
Twhirl To Get New UI
As for Twhirl, by combining access to these four always-on networks, they’re establishing themselves as the go-to application for all your real-time social networking needs. And although you might feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment – especially considering each app opens a separate window – it won’t be that way forever.
Johann Romefort, CTO at Seesmic, and Marco Kaiser, Twhirl’s creator, have both confirmed some big changes to the Twhirl UI. Specifically, they’ve said that their goal is to have all accounts in one window. This update will include a “(kind of) tabbed interface,” says Marco.
That makes the most sense since FriendFeed is indeed “richer” as Johann says, which means that it should get its own tab. However, he tells me that Twitter and Identi.ca’s streams will be combined into one stream. How much longer will you have to wait to see what these changes look like? The ETA on this update is before the end of the summer (which includes September, says Marco).
Once these streams because accessible from only one window, the value of Twhirl will skyrocket. Some people have trouble using Twhirl now because of the numerous windows required, so they simply use it for their Twitter needs. But with everything easily accessible from tabs, Twhirl will easily be the real-time Twitter client of choice, especially when you also take into account its other excellent features like built-in search (Twitter Search, formerly Summize), URL-shortening services, and direct posting of photos, to name a few. Killer app? Yes definitely….Unless you just don’t care about the social web…in which case, maybe I can just direct you here.