Twitter’s a great tool for keeping up with what’s going on with everyone. Everything from mundane this-is-what-I’m-eating tweets to more informative Eric-Estrada-is-at-the-mall-across-the-street (this actually happend) tweets. We have a great deal of tools for keeping track of it all, namely TweetDeck, the Twitter desktop client bought by the microblogging company. Downtweet is a Twitter dashboard of sorts and takes to bring a TweetDeck-like experience to the web. It uses Twitter’s streaming API, some fancy AJAX and the thing works pretty well, even if you don’t have a Twitter account.
Downtweet presents you with a set of panels and a list of categories on the left-hand side. You can sign in to your Twitter account and bring in your regular feed or build custom feeds of specific Twitter users. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still use the preset categories to keep up to date on specific genres.
While the web app is a great use of the Twitter streaming API, it comes with it’s faults. While the livestreaming is excellent, the UI needs some work. Aside from the numerous, almost visually dominating, presence of ads, the UI isn’t fluid. Meaning if your browser isn’t large enough, you’ll miss some panels, including the “My Twitter Feed”, which is all the way on the right. An app like this would do well to use a fluid UI that spans the entire page.
But that’s just UI issues. The web app itself works wonderfully well and is an excellent solution for a web-based TweetDeck-like app. It’ll be great to see the improvements they make as they grow.