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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brizzly Bears Down on the Twitter Features Users are Asking For

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 9:29 AM

click to enlarge brizzly.jpg

​SF-based startup Twitter is the breakout web service of the past few years. And people everywhere - from celebs to us common folk - are jumping on this bandwagon, not only using the service but also creating apps that take advantage of their platform. Many apps utilize iPhones and Blackberries to help people stay in touch on the go; others are either web-based or desktop clients that can run in the background so you can get your Twitter fix when you've got a few minutes in between meetings. Yet of the hundreds (thousands?) that exist, one notable newcomer is the web-based Twitter application, Brizzly.

Founded by Jason Shellen, who also worked with Twitter founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone while at Google on Blogger, the team has done their homework to create a smart, nimble, and FAST web-based app that's been deemed all the rage by its beta testers (myself included.) Why did I make the switch, and why should you? Namely, its features, many of which are unparalleled in the space. Some of  these include:

  • Expanded links: No longer do you need to click on that unknown bit.ly link to find out that you're being Rickrolled (or whatever annoying meme has now replaced it.) Brizzly will show you the actual URL so you can decide whether to click or end up with a roomful of your coworkers calling you 'that guy'. Again.
  • Inline pictures, videos & maps: Another feature 
    click to enlarge brizzly_trends_and_news_thumb_300x442.png
    helping transparency within Twitter, photos linked from Twitpic, Flickr and yFrog are displayed inline. Similar for Vimeo and YouTube videos, and you can even play them direct from the interface. Google Maps also display in-line, which makes your decision on whether to attend that happy hour or not a breeze. For once, your laziness is rewarded.
  • Trends and News: My favorite of the features, there is a small box in the right corner that explains why a topic is trending. And if there isn't an explanation, you can even submit one...don't worry, they're edited by the Brizzly team but are still cheekily irreverent at times. The best one I've seen so far was for Taylor Swift. The explanation? "Kanye West doesn't like her." Brilliant.
  • Muting: Annoyed at your friend's play-by-play of the latest conference or overzealous love for the Patriots? Simply mute them. They'll never know - you're still following them - but their Tweets are removed from your stream in Brizzly. You can always re-enable them when they get some self-awareness and root for a less obnoxious football team.

Other features include an easy direct messaging system that works similar to IMs, the ability to create groups, and you can even upload photos directly and link from Brizzly. Oh, and if Japanese is more your language, you can easily say "Konnichiwa" since besides English, they also support French, Japanese, German and Brazilian Portugese.

This is arguably - or if you read recent press on Brizzly, not-so-arguably - the best web-based Twitter application out there. And until Twitter launches some of these user-requested features, it's worth making the switch.

But don't let me have all the fun; I'm putting my money where my mouth is. The first fifty of you to click this link will get to try out Brizzly yourselves. We'd love to hear what you think.

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About The Author

Aubrey Sabala

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