My new project: Tact, a simple chat app.

Crème is “circles for Twitter,” or why Twitter is still interesting in light of Google+

July 16, 2011

As I was wrapping up Crème 2, Google Plus came out. It’s a really interesting product. They might be on to something. I’m not yet convinced that it will work out, but unlike Wave and Buzz, it’s not an instant disaster.

A key idea in Plus is that you organize your contacts in these Circles. You can use Twitter exactly the same way using lists. This was always a key idea in Crème and it’s interesting to see Google now doing the same.

So, while other Twitter products are married to the idea of home timeline and mentions being the two most important things, Crème lets you customize what you want to see, and in what order. Furthermore, in case of interleaved reading, I hate seeing the same thing seven times. Crème fixes that problem with its solid read/unread tracking and if you go to another page, how it just intelligently scrolls to the right place.

The one advantage that Twitter has over all other networks is its strict fixed post size. This is their key idea and I hope it will stay way. So, reading Twitter for me is way more efficient than using Facebook or Plus. I can easily scan hundreds of posts without any real time expenditure. And Crème’s different pages let me manage, rearrange and mold this flow in a much more sophisticated way than other apps’ fixed simple-minded structure.

Tweetdeck has the same idea with its columns, but I never liked their UI, it’s a bit of rocket control panel. Crème goes in the opposite, simplifying direction. All the controls are still there, but are a gesture or menu away. And you can customize the actions you can do on posts and in the browser.