Pull Yourself Together with Threadsy

Do you ever feel like your digital life has become rather… bloated? Between social media networks, instant messaging and email, it’s not uncommon for people to have 5-7 (or more) different services to check on a daily basis. In an ever increasing web-centric world, don’t expect this count to drop any time soon.

So what’s a guy or gal supposed to do around here to streamline some of this digital communications mess? Threadsy. It isn’t the answer to all your prayers… yet. Although, they’re definitely on the way towards being a usable solution to literally pull your digital communication streams together — all in one place.

Today I’m taking a look at the exciting, upcoming service — Threadsy.

Overview

The idea of Threadsy, is to “Pull Yourself Together” by combining all your communication services into one, easily manageable stream. At first I thought this was a fantastic idea; then I realized the sheer quantity of information, all dumped in one location, could create more of a mess than actually simplify anything. To a certain extent, that’s true.

Threadsy Main View

Threadsy Main View

Okay, this isn’t the default view in Threadsy. I set it to this view to show just how much information can be piled into the interface. In the main left column you’ll see @ reply tweets and emails (both from all accounts setup). In the right column is the Twitter and Facebook stream, displaying very similar to many Twitter clients.

At the bottom is a Meebo instant messaging client, used to pull all your instant messaging services into one place. Probably the most important elements of the interface, is the dark bars at the top of each column. These are for navigation and filtering.

Threadsy Navigation and Filtering

Threadsy Navigation and Filtering

In my opinion, this is one of Threadsy’s features that make it a great service. Sure, viewing all your communication streams at once will look like a total mess (unless you want a full overview), but simply clicking any of the individual service buttons (like gmail, hotmail or one of your Twitter acounts) and you’re instantly viewing only the data from that account.

Okay, so we’ll get into the navigation and filtering of your data streams a little later but, for now, you get the idea.

Sign Up?

Nope. Not yet. Threadsy is still in beta, so you’ll need to get an invite before you can sign up and start using it. This shouldn’t be too difficult and if you stick around for tomorrow, we’ll be posting a beta invite link for our readers. Once you grab an invite and sign up, you’ll also get a link good for ten invites.

In Beta

In Beta

So once you find an invite, create an account and join the private beta.

Join the private beta

Join the private beta

Setup Email Accounts

Next you’ll add your email accounts. Currently you can add Gmail (including Google Apps), Yahoo mail, Hotmail, AOL mail and IMAP accounts. I’m not sure if there’s a limit to the number of accounts you can add, but I was able to add my five accounts without a hitch.

Email Accounts

Email Accounts

Threadsy says they take your privacy and security very seriously, will never share any of your information and utilize industry-standard encryption to secure passwords. That’s about all the details I saw in regards to privacy and security but if you’re concerned or have questions, feel free to catch them on Twitter @Threadsy. I’m sure they’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

Setup Social Networks

Next you’ll setup your social networks. Currently you’re only able to add Facebook and Twitter. I’m not sure if other networks are planned but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Social Networks

Social Networks

Getting Started

This isn’t all that important but I wanted to include the screenshot explaining “inbound” and “unbound”. The inbound column is the main column shown earlier in this article, which includes email @mentions, DM’s andFacebook messages. The unbound column is the smaller column on the right shown earlier in this article, which includes your typical Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Getting Started

Getting Started

User Interface

The user interface is powered, from what I can tell, entirely by JavaScript — which I like as I’m not a fan of Flash based web apps. The overall interface design has a really great start but I don’t feel it’s ready for prime time, at least at the quality level the Threadsy team seems to be aiming for.

As previously mentioned, the interface uses a two column layout with expandable (and almost completely hide-able) instant messaging bar at the base of the page. The main navigation bar adjusts nicely to appropriately fit more or less buttons depending on the width of your browser. The unbound column can be reduced in size or completely minimized using the arrows between the two columns.

User Interface

User Interface

Other interface elements and features are things you would expect from an interface like this, which is a good thing because I think it’s pretty intuitive so far. Of course, as they’re in beta, they’re looking for feedback. There’s a feedback button right next to the logo, right above the main navigation bar.

Settings

Everything outside the main application page is about as simplified as possible. In fact, visiting the settings page is a little disappointing in that the options are quite limited. While simplicity at this level is refreshing, I would like to see a greater selection of options. I assume, as the service develops, more options will become available.

Visiting the Settings page shows three tabs, the first and second being your email accounts and social networks. They include standard options like adding, removing and editing accounts.

The general tab, however, only offers two options. Turning sound notifications on or off for inbound and unbound messages, then editing your account password. I thought this was really disappointing. I would really like to be able to control notification options at a more detailed level or at least between inbound and unbound messages.

Settings

Settings

Threadsy is in beta though, so I think it’s safe to assume that additional options will become available as development continues.

Loading…

This isn’t a big deal but, as we all know, load time is something a lot of people care about. When you initially log into Threadsy, you get the below loading screen. Each time this screen loads, you’ll see a different quote (for all the quotes, check out the source code).

Loading

Loading

Once the main app is loaded, you won’t see the loading page again unless you navigate away to another page such as Settings (what appears to be the only page that requires reloading the app). Other “pages” such as About, Help, Terms and Privacy, load in an overlay or open a new browser tab.

Threadsy Help

Threadsy Help

The overlay pages clearly haven’t been styled yet but they serve their purpose if you need them.

Inbound Usage

Using the app is pretty straight forward but features you need might be missing, for now. It’s in beta so you can expect feature additions, performance and reliability improvements (although I didn’t have any issues in this area) and continued UI enhancements.

Inbound Accounts and Filtering

As I mentioned earlier, things can get pretty messy when you’re viewing all your inbound messages. By default, you’ll be viewing all your account(s) data. Just click the specific account you want to view and you’re [nearly] instantly viewing only that account’s data.

Accounts

Accounts

Filter and Search

Filter and Search

On the right side of the inbound navigation bar are options to filter and search your data. Filtering only allows viewing all, starred or unread and searching seems to search all your data streams, not just the currently selected account.

Inbound Tweets

The inbound column shows @messages and DM’s from Twitter. Hovering over a tweet highlights each end of the message and shows typical Twitter controls such as star, reply, re-tweet and delete. At the end of the message, under the time, a small icon is displayed to show what type of message it is (@message or DM).

Inbound Tweets

Inbound Tweets

Inbound Emails

Viewing inbound emails is essentially the same; highlighted hovering, delete, star, reply and archive. Clicking the quick reply button drops down a message window inline to send a reply… quickly.

Quick Reply

Quick Reply

Tweets have the same inline quick reply feature.

If that’s not enough, click the small “more+” link to the right, which will open a slightly larger inline quick reply that includes more options like recipients, basic text editing, file attachments, etc.

Quick Reply - More

Quick Reply - More

Clicking an email opens the full email with all the typical options to reply, forward, etc. Just recently added, you can now move emails to folders (or labels in Gmail).

View Email

View Email

More advanced options for some email applications will obviously be missing, but, the Threadsy team is very interested in features you want so give them feedback!

Opening an email opens the email inline with your other messages. Scroll up/down to view other messages. You can even open multiple messages inline with each other!

Unbound Usage

Although the unbound column is generally used for its own individual purpose (like a Twitter client), it is also tied in with the inbound column usage.

Unbound Profiles

A really neat feature of Threadsy is the ability to quickly view someone’s “profile”. For example, if I open an email from someone the unbound column automatically changes to profile view and pulls the email sender’s information from Twitter and even Flickr or LinkedIn! Flickr photos are even included and when clicked, a neat gallery view overlay comes up.

Profile View

Profile View

This is a really great feature that adds to the relationships between yourself and your contacts.

Unbound Twitter and Facebook

Unbound Twitter

Unbound Twitter

The unbound Twitter and Facebook features are pretty typical of a Twitter client and most of the standard features are supported. Using the navigation at the top you can quickly switch between your social networks, view them all, search or update your status.

A neat feature worth mentioning is inline images and videos. When people Tweet media, the media is displayed inline with the Tweet. No need to open a new page to play YouTube videos people post!

Final Thoughts

The final verdict? Pretty awesome. Threadsy is an app in development, thus the beta status, but so far it’s on the right track towards becoming one of the most versatile, useful and helpful web applications to date. The interface has a great start both in terms of design and usability, the combination of features like viewing contact profiles and associated information will give it an edge over other apps with the same intended purpose and integrated instant messaging pretty much rounds out the app.

Yes, there are features missing, the app still has a ways to go before dropping the beta status, but overall — Threadsy is likely going to be a core tool in my daily workflow to help maintain control over the ever growing array of communication streams.

I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t like it at first. I really like using Gmail’s interface, but the longer I use Threadsy, the more I want to use it to manage everything. With some added features and improvements, this will be an always-open app for me (it may be already, haven’t decided yet). I’m giving Threadsy an 8/10 because it’s already an awesome app and has a tremendous amount of potential but there are improvements to be made. Another review will be due once they drop the beta status to see if it is a 10/10 web app.

Update: Check out the TC50 post on Threadsy. A great video demonstration is included.

500 Beta Invites

Scott, from Threadsy, has been generous enough to give Web.AppStorm readers 500 1000 beta invites! A beta invite link, good for 500 1000 invites, will be posted tomorrow morning at 7am Pacific Time. Get them while you can!

Update: Beta invite link has been posted here.


Summary

Threadsy is the world’s first integrated communication client. It combines email, Facebook, Twitter, instant messaging, and the broader social web into a brand new experience that provides deep context on the people you communicate with.

8
  • http://djreeg.com thatdudeREEG

    Looking forward to trying this out!

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  • http://peepshow.co.nz Peepshow

    So, how do I get my hands on a beta invite! This looks pretty awesome.

    • http://jremick.com Jarel Remick

      A link for beta invites will be published tomorrow morning at 7am Pacific Time.

  • Erik

    This looks sick! I’d love to snag a beta code, but I’ll be in school…maybe I could bring my iPod Touch in and grab it from there…. ;)

  • http://www.todotweet.com Alexander Wolfe

    Wow! Amazing.

  • http://sandtalker.net/ Sandtalker

    It’s goind to be a really great thing! I’m lookin foward to it too :)

  • http://www.appsheriff.com/ Rony John

    Ultimate Weapon for a Social Media Maven.. :)
    Def gonna review this on App Sheriff.

  • http://thetechzonelive.co.cc Anthony Di Iorio

    Really nice service! Too bad I will be in school while the beta invites are given out. Hopefully there will be some left. What if when a person gets an invite they give away some of theirs in the comments thread.

  • http://www.oykunyilmaz.com oykun.yilmaz

    Cool! so where can we find these invitations?

    • http://jremick.com Jarel Remick

      A link for beta invites will be published tomorrow morning at 7am Pacific Time.

  • http://YOONYOONS KILYOUL YOON

    what a great idea

  • http://www.warstwy.com adone

    I want one.

  • http://sandtalker.net/ Sandtalker

    Sooo? Where are those invites? ^^ Please, send me one! :)

    • http://jremick.com Jarel Remick

      Coming at 7am, Pacific Time. Or, in 21 minutes. ;-)

  • http://djreeg.com thatdudeREEG

    Alright! I’m in! Thanks AppStorm!

  • http://digitalsimple.info Sherman

    Thanks for the comprehensive review and the Beta invite. The idea has a lot of potential and they do some stuff really really well but the interface is really overwhelming to me.

    I’d love to see it start minimally and allow me to add features rather then the infosplosion that happens right away.

    Thanks again for the great review and the great site!

  • S2s

    Thanks for the beta invite, but I can’t get past the Add Email page. The initial Loading… message stayed up until I refreshed, then took 5 seconds to finish. Then I added my Gmail address and pw and it was “Adding…” for over 5 minutes. Beta’s one thing, getting the job done is another.

    Sorry…

    • http://jremick.com Jarel Remick

      You should contact Threadsy about it. I tested Threadsy in Safari 4, Firefox 3.5/3.6, Opera and Chrome and only experienced two minor problems that appeared to be cache related and went away.

      Might I ask what browser you’re using?

  • Pingback: Threadsy – A Godsend! « Nur Azam's Blog

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    I hope they can add support for Flickr etc. Today it´s only about Twitter and Facebook. I already use Tweedeck for that.

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