Reportage is a brand-new Twitter client for the iPhone which, according to the company, turns Twitter into a radio tuner. In this case, they're using the phrase "radio tuner" as an analogy to describe how the client operates - it doesn't actually play music. Rather, it lets you "tune in" to the people you follow on Twitter as if they were each their own radio station.
Reportage is Radically Different
There have to be hundreds of Twitter clients out there now for everything from the desktop, to the mobile, to the web. However, there's something they all have in common; they display Twitter posts as a stream of updates where everyone's updates are mixed in together as they're created.
With Reportage, though, the concept is very different. Instead of watching a stream, you can easily move between different users on Twitter and watch each one of them individually.
World vs. Stars
After you install the app and authenticate with Twitter, the main screen, called "World" is populated with the people who you follow on Twitter. Using a radio-like dial at the bottom of the screen, you can scroll through these folks as if you were selecting different radio stations on an old-fashioned stereo.
Of course, if you follow a lot of folks - or, heck, even if you follow anything more than a small handful - scrolling through your Twitter friends in this way would be far too cumbersome. That's why you'll want to use the "Stars" feature instead.
The "Stars option," available from another button at the bottom of the screen, is a group of your favorites which you can customize. To add someone to your Stars, you do so from their profile page, or so the app advises. Unfortunately, I have to admit that it took me a minute to find the setting.
You see, when you tap on a person's avatar, you'll be taken to a page of their tweets. It's here where I expected to find the "star" button, but it wasn't displayed. In order to see the option, what you have to do is tap on one of that person's tweets and only then will you see the option to add them to your stars. Alternately, you can double-tap on their icon to be taken to said profile page. That's actually a much quicker way of doing things and, to be honest, the app should probably note this is how it's done.
Why Would You Want This?
Once you have a limited group of favorites (stars) set up, you can then scroll through the dial and tune into each user individually. Clearly, this is not the way you're going to interact with Twitter on an everyday basis, but it's a fabulous way to get caught up on your friends' tweet history after you've taken some time away from the service (and let's admit it - we do that every now and then, no matter how Twitter-addicted we are). In fact, we can't think of a better way to quickly review all the recent tweets from a select group. Even in clients like TweetDeck which allows for grouping, you're not going to get as complete a history as you would with Reportage.
The Reportage app is available for $2.99 in the iTunes App Store.