You probably heard the news that on the very same day that Twitter started hosting images directly on Twitter.com, the makers of the popular Twitter picture sharing tool TwitPic also coincidentally launched their new Twitter-like service, called Heello. It had been rumoured for awhile, but we can presume the launch had something to do with Twitter’s new feature.
It looks like a misspelled “Hello,” but if you pronounce it like they say it’s pronounced, it sounds like a place in Hawaii.
Being an easily distracted social media addict, I naturally jumped right in. Hot on the heels of Google+, though, this is getting to be a bit much.
Initially, I like the layout. It’s missing some features from Twitter, but the layout really is superior. It also has real-time feeds that appear automatically (vs. click for more on Twitter.com). It seems to have attracted a zillion teenagers and many fake (though fun) accounts. According to a Ping (that’s Heelloain for Tweet) by one of the developers, they do plan on allowing some of these for-fun accounts to exist, but mark them somehow as “parody” accounts.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t pay much attention, but, as with Google+, the growth rate out the door on this new service is astounding (though not as astounding as Google+). According to the Twitter feed (irony there?), it’s growing by about 100,000 accounts per day. Not bad for week 1. We’ll keep our eye on this one!
I figure the key ingredients to launching a new platform are:
- A nicely designed, simple to use User Interface (check)
- Persistent user growth in order to reach critical mass (check)
- Lots of buzz (given the launch date, and the company launching it, check)
Twitter, once the darling of third-party application development and tools, has been slowly “integrating” many features into the “core” product, including an official iPhone and Android app, the List feature, shortened links, and now, images. In all cases, however, they still permitted the third-party apps to co-exist. Nonetheless, tools like TwitPic, Tweetphoto and even Flickr are bound to see some traffic drop with this latest development.
Of course, many Twitter clones exist, and some have come and gone:
- Identi.ca is one of the first, and it’s still around. The user interface is a bit nerdy, but it works well.
- Jaiku is still kicking.
- meme from Yahoo! is nice, but it hasn’t caught on.
- Plurk has also been around for ages, and still is.
- Sadly, Koornk, YouAre and Utterli are no longer with us.
- And now, there’s another Twitter clone called Subjot. It has some cool twists, like categories.
- Did I miss any? Add your favourite of today or yesteryear to the comments.