Twitter and Pownce vie for first place in the social networking tool race!
It seems the great race of 2008 will center around who can build the most comprehensive, multiple-profile social platform. In the last few weeks I have taken the time to sign up for, navigate around, and test the overall functionality of many different social networking models in an effort to see who is leading the race. For this test I stuck strictly with lifestreaming-style sites as full-blown profiles are a completely different machine. Why compare racecars to monster trucks you know? Some programs didn’t even make it through the qualifying rounds, but two managed to attract this sponsors attention and hold it…
Twitter (via Twhirl)
|On the Web: Positive:Clean, simple interface. Fully customizable background and color scheme. Real-time updates. Negative: Navigation tabs change depending on the page you’re viewing, and it seems the servers lock up during peak usage times. Profiles do not allow much room to describe yourself to better include or exclude followers. In addition, the ability to group your friends would be an outstanding addition.External Apps: Best found: Twhirl encompasses the full functionality of the site, and as a bonus, integrates Twitpics, Pownce, and Jaiku.
Mobile: Twitter uses SMS messaging, which allows less technically adept users to participate with ease. Updates are fast and the options to set time limits and select users to follow via mobile set the bar for nanoblogging. It does seem that Twitter has outgrown its’ resources however as mobile updates are often failing or intermittent.
Across Platforms: The Twitter web interface is cut and dry without accessibility or even the option to link to other networking resources. External applications are take twitter to the next level. Twhirl allows users to read from and post to Pownce and Jaiku. It seems there are still some bugs to work out when it comes to replying and direct messaging across platforms though.
|On the Web: Positive: Pownce allows users to share pictures, links, and other files up to 10mb and has an unlimited character limit for messages. They also offer paid membership which increases file size allowances and opens up customization options. Profiles are more comprehensive, giving users a place to list all their social networking profiles in one place. Event invites and the ability to group your contacts are an added bonus that I’m sure will become essential in the future of this interface. Negative: Being a newer network, the pool of users is smaller.External Apps: Best Found: Pownce’s Official Desktop Client. This is a very basic reader but the most stable and functional of the ones available for Pownce. There are no customizable settings for the reader however. I would like to see skinning options, sound notifications, and of course, cross-platform communication.
Mobile: Pownce is available via mobile web, with a clean and easy to read feed. SMS messaging is not available at this time which is a hindrance as it limits the number of users and takes away instant notification options. The unlimited characters in updates may prove to be a challenge once SMS is available.
Across Platforms: At this time there doesn’t seem to be any cross-platform communication with Pownce although with the recently opened API, this is sure to change.
Overall I have found that when I have accessibility to the web, Pownce wins the race hands down. But for mobile updates Twitter is still in the lead as SMS Messaging seems to be the ONLY feature Pownce is lacking. I’m anxious to see what creative developer will take the open API of Pownce and create an astoundingly customizable and cross-platform functional external application.