FanMix: Your Social Inbox

Until I discovered Tweetbot for iPad, I was at my wits end not being able catch up with my Twitter feed completely. I’m following about 50 people, which is far less a number when compared to the rest of the Twitter universe. Yet, I couldn’t find a perfect app that could archive all the tweets and show even the tweets that showed when I didn’t refresh my feed by opening the app. Conversation management sucks a lot too.

That’s only about Twitter. Facebook is a lost cause altogether. I never know where I left off and from where to catch up. While everyone is hating email to the core, I wouldn’t mind if I could manage all my social conversations on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, comment threads, and everywhere else from one dead-simple inbox, just like email. That’s when I found FanMix.

Ease of Use

Overview

Overview

Once you get past the standard sign up form, you will land on the social connections page. From this page, you can integrate your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts via OAuth. While it isn’t explicitly mentioned, from the looks of it, you can integrate two Twitter accounts and one Facebook and LinkedIn account with FanMix. A bargain for a free app, I would say!

Connecting Social Accounts

Connecting Social Accounts

After integrating, it didn’t take long for the app to pull all the conversations. I didn’t know that, until I checked every single folder listed in the left pane. Since the inbox showed zero messages at launch, there is a chance that some might mistake that the app hasn’t successfully integrated their social account. A notification of some sort intimating users once the messages are pulled would go a long way.

User Interface

Inbox View

Inbox View

The FanMix user interface looks like a clone of an email inbox. To be precise, the UI is much more cleaner and intuitive than a standard email inbox. A search box sits at the top and all available folders can be found in the left side pane.

Accessing Conversations

Sent Messages

Sent Messages

All your new conversations, mentions and replies will show up instantly in the inbox. If you are looking for your earlier conversations, visit the Archive folder. The Sent folder holds all the tweets and replies you have sent out so far.

Posting a Reply

Posting a Reply

Unfortunately, the conversations from earlier aren’t threaded and all the replies show up as individual messages. I don’t know how complex it would be to identify and thread past conversations, but such a feature will make the app more complete. On the other hand, if you reply to a conversation from the app, the entire conversation will be available as a thread.

Priority Inbox

The Important Folder

The Important Folder

Messages of significance go into the Priority Inbox and the Important folders. Use the Priority Inbox to flag important conversations and manage them with your team. As messages come in flag them if they are important and in future, the app will automatically move them up higher as and when they arrive. It works just like the Gmail Priority inbox, just so you know. However, I wasn’t sure how the Important folder worked. Some messages were automatically marked as important immediately after the integration and I didn’t mark them myself.

Searching for Messages

Search Results

Search Results

I tried searching for some keywords and the results were very satisfactory. FanMix not only searches the messages for the keyword, but also the Twitter handles as well. Search keywords are neatly highlighted and results are chronologically arranged.

Contacts

Contacts and their Klout

Contacts and their Klout

Find out who you’re connecting with the most, and who has the biggest audience of their own from the Contacts section of the app. Initially, I thought FanMix analyzed all my followers. But, in realty the app weighs the Klout score of only those with whom you have had a conversation with. It wouldn’t hurt to have the Klout scores of everyone who follows my account side by side for reference.

Final Thoughts

I loved FanMix. Sure, the app hasn’t reinvented the wheel or anything, but has found a fix that works for most of us. There is a very minimal learning curve since we all are used to the concept of inboxes and emails. FanMix is one of those apps that can help bring technologically challenged people closer to the social revolution.

Predictably, it isn’t fun to point, click and open every single message or mention. But the options to delete, mark as important and search all the messages make up for that shortcoming. In future, it would be a welcome change if the app allows us to tag and move messages into their respective folders. For sure, going forward I’m gonna continue to use FanMix for all my social conversations!

Share Your Thoughts!

Do you know a better app that keeps track of the social graph precisely? Think FanMix has got everything right, or is it too old fashioned?


Summary

FanMix lets you manage all your social conversations on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, comment threads, and everywhere else from one dead-simple inbox, just like email.

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  • http://twitter.com/freydrew Drew Frey – Fanmix

    Again, thanks for the writeup Justin. We hope you like Fanmix and please feel free to let me know how we can improve upon what we’ve done so far.

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