Twitter’s front-end look and feel on the web has been slowly improving over the past several months. But it’s still far from ideal, missing quite a few key elements that users turn to other apps for. And Twitter, with its APIs, is fine with that. Many of those are speciality web apps (photo and video Twitter sites) or much robust desktop and mobile clients (Tweetie, Seesmic, etc). But Brizzly, a new project launching today at our Real-Time Stream CrunchUp, wants to completely revamp the way you experience Twitter on the web.
Brizzly is the second project under Thing Labs, a development house started by former Googler Jason Shellen. Their first project was Plinky, a more proactive take on blogging. But Shellen decided the time was right to launch something that tackled the whole Twitter craze, and improved upon the experience of it. So he brought one of the creators of Google Reader, Chris Wetherell, on board along with a few others from that team and they built Brizzly.
It’s “fast, simple, and enhances reading and creation,” Shellen tells us. Some of the big features are that it allows you to create groups out of the users you follow, gives you insights into why certain topics are trending, and threads direct message conversations. It also gives you multiple account access, allows you to save multiple drafts of tweets, and keeps track of where you left off reading in your stream. And it should handle media (pictures and video) in a more seamless way that Twitter itself currently does.
Some of the more robust Twitter apps have variations on some of these features, but Brizzly is doing this while being entirely web-based. And it’s really the UI that will make or break something like this, and Brizzly looks like it has a nice one (see screenshot).
Plus they have a killer logo of what looks to be a bear wearing a dead Twitter bird’s skin.
And this is just the first step for Brizzly. They are considering future support for Facebook and some of the other social services, Shellen says. And they plan to do some mobile-specific interfaces, maybe even an iPhone app.
Following today’s preview, Brizzly will enter closed beta testing next week. You can sign up to receive an invite when they’re ready, here.
Note: The UI and design of Brizzly hasn’t been finalize yet, the image below is what the working model looks like.
Here’s the video demo of Brizzly from the Real-Time Stream CrunchUp: