By Katie Despres, @kdespres
Welcome to the next edition of Tool Time! Today, we’re looking at Twitscoop.
First, a little background: Twitscoop describes itself as a real-time visualization tool whose main benefit is its “buzz cloud.” Using an algorithm, Twitscoop cuts every English non-spam tweet into pieces, and ranks them by how frequently they are used versus normal usage.
The web application detects growing trends in real-time, identifies breaking and monitors specific keywords along with custom graphs that display the activity for any given word on Twitter. According to its website, Twitscoop can “essentially be described as your real-time web’s monitor.”
On the right side of your home page, Twitscoop displays the words that are being tweeted more than average in real time, or updated once a minute, whichever you prefer. Hover over the word in the cloud, and you see some of the most recent tweets mentioning that word. Click the word in the cloud, and it takes you to a real-time search featuring the latest tweets with that word. These tweets, and the tweets from the main interface, refresh automatically.
Along with its search functionality, Twitscoop serves as a Twitter web client, that you can receive and send tweets from.
Pros: Now, it’s important to mention here that I’m a straight up twitter.com kind of girl, having had little to no experience using all the fancy Twitter organizers, interfaces and various tools. I tweet from the website or occasionally from my iTouch, but that’s pretty much it. That being the case, I found the Twitscoop home page interface to be pretty user friendly. I also like the real time updates in the buzz cloud. It gives you a comprehensive look at what’s hot on Twitter, more so than plain old trending topics, as Twitscoop breaks it down to the word, not just a specific phrase or hash tag.
I’m also a fan of how tweeted links and photos are treated on Twitscoop. Hovering over a link, Twitscoop automatically pops up how many times it has been clicked already. With links of photos, Twitscoop pops up a preview of the photo, so you don’t have to click all the way through, which I liked.
Cons: When you click a users profile in Twitscoop, it takes you to their TwitterCounter, displaying how many followers that person has, how many people they are following and number of tweets. Huh? While TwitterCounter is a useful tool in its own right, if I click on someone’s handle from anywhere, I want to go right to his or her profile, not to a page that displays stats I have no interest in. It takes another click from TwitterCounter, then you are directed to the user’s tweet stream.
Another pro-turned-possible-con is seen in the following screen shot, which I took on January 28th at 5:26 pm ET. So what? Well, this was the day Apple launched the iPad. I find it hard to believe that “iPad” or “Apple” weren’t highly buzzed about topics, even four hours after the announcement was made.
In summary, I found Twitscoop to be a useful tool for some things—but, with its main focus on real-time trends and buzz words on Twitter, I had an issue with my (admittedly very unscientific) findings on the day of the iPad launch. The search functionality is very good beyond the buzz words—searching for a certain word or hash tag in Twitscoop’s search gives you a real-time feed, and a handy graph broken down into the past 6 hours, 1 day or 3 days. For me, this is what would be best for using Twitscoop for a client, to monitor trends and new topics.
Overall, I’d give Twitscoop 2.5 slices. Not enough to convert me to a full time user, but I would use the site if I wanted a more detailed search of hot topics, trends and buzz words. For more info on Twitscoop, see this post on TechCrunch and user reviews here at OneForty.