Become a Social Network Ninja with Seesmic

In the Twitter ecosystem, Seesmic has carved a niche for itself with its apps deployed across various platforms: desktop, mobile and web. Seesmic’s web app was launched to much fanfare and gets feature upgrades on a regular basis. The web app is boasted as being a tool to manage and organize your community online. Let’s go ahead and check if Seesmic performs as often advertised.

Sign Up

Seesmic Web offers a very unique sign up page. You can choose to login with your Twitter account or you can choose to sign up for a Seesmic account and then integrate your Twitter account.

Sign Up

Sign Up

Let’s go with the Twitter login option. Just enter your Twitter login info. and you can authorize Seesmic to access your Twitter account. The entire process occurs via Oauth and the password is not stored.

Twitter Login

Twitter Login

Interface and Stream Organization

After logging in, you are presented with two columns containing your Twitter stream and mentions along with a hovering Seesmic sign up window.

Seesmic Signup

Seesmic Signup

You will need a Seesmic account to keep all your columns intact every time you use Seesmic, so let’s go ahead and sign up.

Post Login

Post Login

The sign up is very simple and does not require email activation. The interface is simple and uncluttered. There are not a lot of buttons or controls, making the UI look more refined. The overall interface design is modern and fresh but without the heavy graphics other apps sometimes include, adding to Seesmic’s snappy interface.

User Interface

User Interface

Columns

You can manage your Twitter stream with the help of columns. Though you cannot create custom columns, Seesmic allows you to create preset columns for Retweets, Searches, Trending topics etc.

Retweet Selection

Retweet Selection

For example, you can create a Retweet from the Retweets option on the left hand side of the page.

Reweet Column

Reweet Column

You can also create columns for trending topics from the Trending topics option on the left hand side.

Trending Topics Options

Trending Topics Options

Trending Columns

Trending Columns

The columns created are flexible and can be moved around by dragging them to the left or to the right. Using the column controls in the bottom left of the page, you can adjust column size or switch between multi-column and single column view.

Moving Columns

Moving Columns

An important feature here is the extensive use of JavaScript enhancements, making this web app both powerful and easy to use.

Tweeting

The tweet box is very simple without any frills, appearing as a basic input field when not selected and expanding to display additional information and options such as character count, link insertion and Geo location. As with most Twitter apps, there’s a built in URL shortener through bit.ly.

Tweeting

Tweeting

More Features

Lists

Unlike many other web apps, Seesmic enables you to create Twitter lists from the Seesmic page itself. This is a greatly appreciated feature; one which should be included in many other web apps.

Lists

Lists

To create a new list, select the Lists option from the left hand pane and select Create New List. You will then be presented with the list creation window where you’ll name and describe your list, then choose whether to keep the list public or private.

Lists Creation

Lists Creation

Geo Location

Seesmic also allows you to publish your location with the built in Geo location option. To use this feature you must enable Geo location in your Twitter control panel. Once setup, your location will be tagged to the tweet.

Geo Location

Geo Location

Messages

Messages

Messages

You can view the Direct messages, both sent and received, from the messages page as well as begin a new conversation using the New message… link. Clicking messages opens a column to the right of the main message list showing the entirety of the conversation. The great thing about this is your messages are shown as conversations rather than individual messages. This helps simplify communication.

Contacts

The contacts page shows your profile information in an elegant manner. From this page you can see a list of your followers and the people you are following. You’ll be able to unfollow people along with view interesting information from MrTweet, such as your (or your follower’s) tweet count per day, most contacted twitterers, etc.

Contacts

Contacts

Strangely, you’re not able to look up Twitter users and follow them from this page. Although, you are able to navigate via links in followers profiles to other users and follow them that way.

If you know the username of the Twitter user you want to follow or view, change the username at the end of the URL in the browser location bar. Ex: http://seesmic.com/web/index.html?locale=en#profile_USERNAMEHERE

Notifications

Notifications

Notifications

If you are multitasking while using Seesmic, you can turn on notification sounds to alert you when there is a tweet or DM. Although this is basic, it seems to be forgotten in some apps.

Unified Inbox (Single Column)

Last, but not the least, is the unified inbox view, which presents all the tweets in a very pretty Gmail-like interface. You’re able to do all the regular functions as in the multi-column view but you’re limited to viewing your regular Twitter stream.

Unified Inbox

Unified Inbox

To get to this view, click the single column icon at the bottom left of the page.

Final Thoughts

Seesmic Web seems to be a pretty simple and very responsive web app. Seesmic is blazing fast. This includes load times and functions such as search, direct messages and updating the Twitter status. Like Hootsuite, Seesmic is built with all sorts of JavaScripty goodness, giving it desktop-like capabilities.

However, there are quite a few shortcomings, such as the inability to manage multiple Twitter accounts, lack of customization, separate page for messages, etc. We hope that the Seesmic team ensures that these features are added in the next upgrade as most of them have become staple features in other Twitter apps.

While Seesmic is a fantasic Twitter web app—arguably among the best—it just isn’t as robust, feature filled and refined as other Twitter web apps that come to mind. For this reason, we’re giving Seesmic an 8/10.

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Summary

Seesmic Web is a web application helping to easily manage and build your community directly in your browser.

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