Occasionally, we review brilliant apps in their infancy and following our reviews, they grow ridiculously and major changes are made and features added to make them even greater. For this reason, some apps have changed so much in this period that they warrant another review from us to see whether the changes have been for the better or worse.
One such app is Buffer. I reviewed it back in early 2011 while it was still young and since then, it’s managed to attract over 400,000 users who all want an easy way to schedule their social updates. In this article, I’ll be taking a look at some of the most significant changes in the newest incarnation of the Buffer app. Just read on to find out more!
One of the most significant changes in the new version of Buffer is its updated interface. Though the old one was quite simple and still managed to do the trick, it was never a 10/10 in the looks department. Luckily, the updated design has fixed this and the result is an incredibly aesthetically-pleasing interface that definitely represents the new and greater era for the app. It feels less of a static website and more interactive and I imagine it would look and work great on a tablet.
Almost everything is laid out in a simple and logical manner. If I could provide one criticism, though, it’s that the new share field for updates to be added to the Buffer is a little bit hidden and it took me a good 10 seconds to scout around the app and realise that it was right at the top. It may well be just me that had this problem and I understand that in the app’s current form, it’s a good idea to have the share box on each page of the app in the same location but for some reason, I was looking for it at the top of the actual Buffer list. Regardless of this, I was incredibly impressed with the massive design overhaul.
The next big aspect of Buffer that’s changed significantly is its integration with other apps. The original incarnation supported only Twitter and provided just a web interface with a couple of browser extensions to add tweets to the Buffer. Since then, an API has been released and several official and third-party apps have been created to allow users to get the full Buffer experience. In addition to these, Buffer now allows accounts to be added from other social networks such as Facebook and App.net, meaning that updates are not simply confined to Twitter and updates can be piped to various networks through Buffer itself.
As well as the various official clients for mobile and browsers that allow tweets to be added to the Buffer from these, the Buffer website also provides a selection of links to external apps and websites that also enhance the functionality of Buffer. It offers integration with services such as IFTTT (an app we covered a while ago that provides an interesting way for triggers between various apps to be created), Pocket (for sharing links through Buffer directly from the Pocket app) and several others that make integrating other apps with a Buffer account incredibly easy.
One of the less-prominent changes in Buffer since its first review has been the subtle change in price. Due to the addition of various features to the app, it’s of no surprise therefore that the pricing plans have changed to reflect this. Eliminating the middle $5 plan between the free and $20, the team have consolidated these into a single $10 per month plan that contains all features and have renamed it aptly to ‘Awesome’. It includes unlimited posts, the addition of up to 12 accounts and also provides 2 additional team members that can use the Buffer account on behalf of an organisation or business.
This move is quite interesting as it both removes confusion with multiple plans and reduces the price of the app when compared with the original $20 for unlimited features. Overall, I find this to be incredibly reasonable and I imagine that the small relative cost to businesses can really help them to get some good results.
I was incredibly pleased with the new and revamped Buffer. During the initial stages of the app’s development when I reviewed it last time, it seemed that the app was more targeted at businesses and professionals and though I agree that this is probably the app’s most logical demographic, the developers have progressed the app to a stage now where I can see the appeal for everyday users of the social networking websites that just want a way to share things when they don’t have time to actively post updates but want to maintain their online presence. The revamp of the design certainly helps to cement this and I think the team have come on in leaps and bounds in terms of taking a fairly averagely-designed app and turning it into something that people enjoy using. All in all, the new Buffer is incredible.
Buffer allows users of social networks to easily schedule updates for regular posting throughout the day, with support for various add-ons and integrations with other apps.10