Twitter has no doubt changed how we think about real-time messaging. Twitter has given users a new platform upon which to "chat" - through posting messages, through targeted, but public @-messages and through private DMs. But "chat" doesn't quite describe what people do on Twitter. And no doubt, Twitter doesn't quite work seamlessly as a traditional chat client.
There's the character limitation, of course. There're the restrictions on DMing those who don't follow you. And if you have email notifications set up, there's the annoying influx in your inbox when you try to hold a conversation via direct message.
A new service launching today aims to leverage your Twitter network in order to build a better instant messaging platform. Joint lets you chat with those in your Twitter network - but it doesn't use Twitter to do so.
Via a downloadable Adobe Air app, Joint users will be able to have both one-to-one and group chats and connect in real-time - unrestrained by the 140 character limit - with those in and beyond their Twitter friends list.
To IM someone via Joint, you can send them a message - either through an @-message or through a DM - asking that person to join you on Joint. That message includes a link that, once the Joint client is downloaded, will open to a one-to-one chat.
Similarly, Joint allows you to create chat rooms so that you can have instant-messaging capabilities with groups of people as well. These rooms can be either public or private. The chat rooms do not persist - in other words, once the last person logs out of Joint, the room will disappear. However, each user does have a permanent web address linked to their account, so that others can find which room(s) they're currently in.
Joint believes that this new tool could be utilized by brands and community managers in order to have real-time conversations with users outside the Twitter stream. This could be either on a one-to-one level for problem resolution or a large-scale chat room. But there may be any number of reasons why people might want to take their Twitter network and leveraging those social connections, have conversations elsewhere.
You can download the Joint client here and give it a whirl.