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Brizzly: TweetDeck Meets Facebook

  • Oct 29, 2009
Until Google Wave really takes off, I'm going to be sticking with good ole twitter.  As you all know, twitter is a very simple microblogging tool chalked full of glitches and inconveniences, therefore, many third party developers have been capitalizing on this fact by creating their own applications to make the twitter experience more user friendly.  Why twitter doesn't address these issues themselves, I don't know.  I do know that a slew of twitter applications spawned from this fact, and one of those apps is Brizzly.

If you didn't notice, Brizzly totally blew up as one of twitter's trending topics yesterday.  Brizzly has been around since the beginning of the summer, but it caused a brouhaha when their Facebook app was released.  It's obvious that Brizzly is aiming to change the tweeting and Facebook feed experience.  They also say that they're planning to add other social media soon.  We'll see.

Let's talk twitter...
Like many other twitter applications out there, Brizzly aims to let tweeps tweet with as much ease as possible.  Here are some of the features that sets Brizzly apart from other apps:
  • Auto Expanded Media -- This is the feature that most differentiates Brizzly from other twitter apps.  Instead of using links or other URL shorteners, it expands the link so that you know exactly what you're clicking on.  It also shows pictures from apps like twitpic, and yfrog, as well as videos from sites like Youtube and Vimeo, all inline, full sized.
  • Groups -- Like TweetDeck columns, you can create groups.  For the time being, you can have up to five groups with fifty tweeps in each.
  • Mute -- If you want to continue following someone, yet don't want to get their tweets in your feed for a certain period of time, you can mute and unmute them.
  • Direct Messaging -- I always forget that the DM section of twitter even exists.  Most people seem to.  There's now a blinking gif that appears like an instant message chat box, and when you send a DM, it's threaded like iPhone text messaging.
  • Trending Topics -- Instead of wondering what the trending topics to the right are, you can click on it to expand to a mini wiki explanation.
  • Auto Load -- Once you scroll down to the very bottom of the page, older content automatically loads up.  One of my favorite features.
  • Draft -- I can create drafts of my tweets.
  • Multiple Account Use -- Can use up to five twitter accounts.

It's not all perfect though...
As much as I dig the concept of Brizzly's twitter app and all of those features that I pointed out, there are a few things that irk me about it so far...
  • User Interface Design -- The layout of the site is great, but they're in dire need of a graphic designer.  The site looks pretty archaic right now.  I wish that I could at least customize colors like I can on twitter and TweetDeck.
  • Draft -- Though this feature may sound useful, I don't remember the last time I needed to draft up a 140 character or less sentence.
  • J-K -- One of the other features of the service are the keyboard shortcuts.  One includes typing "j" and "k" to scroll up and down the page.  Are they j/k?  Because idgi.  It's just as easy to push the "page up" and "page down" button.
  • Noise -- The auto expanded media feature can be quite annoying.  As if twitter itself wasn't already noisy enough, this reader now has unshortened links, full sized images, and full sized Youtube videos.  I would actually prefer thumbnails like on Facebook.
  • No Mobile App -- A mobile app is a must for me!  I'm not a fan of switching between twitter apps and would much prefer an app that I can use on both my desktop and phone.

Let's talk Facebook...
There's actually not much to be said about Brizzly on Facebook.  It basically takes your Facebook feed and plops it into Brizzly.  In place of the ads, event/birthday updates, invitations and people suggestions, etc, on the right side, there are the same trending topics and explanations that are on twitter.  It looks just as messy and noisy as the Brizzly twitter feed because of the unshortened URLs and full sized video, and in Facebook's case, it also automatically expands the threaded comments on wall posts. 

I'm just going to stick with the original Facebook on this one. 

I do have to say though, that little bear symbol that shows up on my wall post when I update from Brizzly is pretty darn cute.  I might just keep updating from Brizzly just because of that.

But there's hope...
Despite some of the downfalls, Brizzly obviously has potential.  They are just now launching and are still in beta.  Invite only, at that, so they're probably hoping to gather feedback and work out all the kinks asap.  I haven't found a twitter application that I absolutely love yet, so I'm still switching in between apps, but I could see myself checking into Brizzly once in a while.

There is just one last thing I have to add, though... Brizzly the bear, the Brizzly mascot, is pretty darn cute.  Here he is in a little twitter bird outfit and an adorable little Facebook sweater!  Aw, Brizzly :)

If you want to give Brizzly a shot, the first 10 people to sign up through this link can become beta users.  Be sure to come back to Lunch and tell us what you think! :)
Brizzly: Twitter, Facebook Style

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November 05, 2009
I love that I can see linked photos and videos right in the tweet with Brizzly-- this is in my opinion its best feature and what sets it apart from the other twitter apis. The Facebook integration is ok, but I hardly use it. My one gripe with Brizly is it can be sllloooooowwwwww. Like really slow loading or just figuring things out. And this is only with a limited set of users via invites. They're gonna need to figure out a way to make things run faster and smoother if they want to grow in popularity.
November 05, 2009
Thanks for your comment, Marce! I love the auto expanded media as well, but sometimes, I have so much of it that it takes too long to load, like if a tweep goes on a twitpic or Youtube posting spree. I wish they were thumbnails like in FB! I haven't had too much of a problem with speed, it's just when there's too much media to load that it gets clogged.

@CustomChoice Now that you mention it, I noticed that there are no numbers on Brizzly at all!  Whether it's for my own tweets, DMs, @ replies, etc.  That's something that I really like about twitter and TweetDeck.  You're right that it's functional, but I've used other twitter APIs that are functional and sleek as well and I'm a very visual person.  If Brizzly ever gets a makeover, I might just start using it full time.  Thanks for your comment! :)
October 29, 2009
This sounds really interesting. Their little avatars are adorable too! :)
October 30, 2009
I think it's worth checking out if you get the chance. Yes, Brizzly is too cute! :)
October 29, 2009
awwww, brizzly!!!!!! i cant wait to google wave with all mah peeps!!
October 29, 2009
Well, before you go Wavin', you can go Brizzin' with yo peeps instead! ;D
More Brizzly reviews
Quick Tip by . October 28, 2009
awesome website for dealing with twitter and now facebook
About the reviewer
devora ()
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When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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About this topic


Brizzly is a third-party Twitter interface, currently in a closed beta. It was unveiled at one of TechCrunch's events in 2009.

It allows you to create groups to organize followers, and has numerous other features, including in-line links from TwitPic & amongst others. It has been compared as FriendFeed for Twitter.
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