Seesmic Look: A Desktop Startpage For Twitter

January 21, 2010

11:22 pm

Seesmic Look

Seesmic Look

In case you missed it, Seesmic has launched a new product called Seesmic Look. Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur has been tipping his hand on the new product all week and it seems that all the tech reporter teasing has paid off as it was all the talk as it launched. So what is Seesmic Look? It is a visual desktop, startpage experience for Twitter. Yes, it is taking a page out of the portal’s book by taking the content produced on Twitter and creating a more organized, visual, mainstream Twitter experience focused on making it easier for people to find popular people and content Twitter streams.

According to a recent article by Robert Scoble:

“… Seesmic had done real customer research and found that lots of people who are using Twitter just don’t understand Twitter and so they set out to develop a client for these normal users, not for geeks like me.”

In checking out Seesmic Look I was impressed with the overall visual aspects of the dashboard. It offers two modes (timeline or playback) and tweets move across the screen fading in and out real-time. For each Twitter user, the background of the app changes to match the Twitter background of the user or brand you are looking at. Seesmic offers two themes: one light and one dark, for overall viewing pleasure. Seesmic Look makes it easy to find various content types and brands in today’s real-time stream, just as iGoogle, Netvibes, myAOL and other personalized startpages have done with feeds. For example, the lists are broken down by topic (sports, entertainment, celebrities, etc) and each topic offers a couple dozen related users. But I found the lists to be a little light as there are millions of users out there.  Also I couldn’t figure out how to customize the lists. I’d definitely like to add @TECHcocktail to the “Tech” category (maybe Seesmic Look should too). 😉

It appears Seesmic has teamed with Microsoft to optimize Look for Windows 7 which could help them down the road as Microsoft looks for a mainstream focused Twitter client to package on any one of their numerous PC distribution deals.

Check out some of the screen-shots of Seesmic Look in action (below).

Seesmic Look Trends

Seesmic Look Trends

Seesmic Look Social Stream

Seesmic Look Social Stream

Seesmic Look Inbox

Seesmic Look Inbox

Just as Robert Scoble wrote, it is not the ideal interface for someone like me to navigate Twitter but I have to admit it looks pretty from a UI perspective. I am bummed it is currently not available for the Mac and it took a little time for my hefty Twitter account to load but I assume both items will be addressed with time. Check out what others had to say about Seesmic Look.

TechCrunch called Seesmic Look:

“… a streamlined Twitter client aimed at the Oprah crowd. But it is also a Tablet-friendly client that tries to organize the stream into easily browsable channels, some of which are sponsored by brands.”

GigaOm claimed:

Seesmic is reversing the trend of adding more and more features to Twitter clients.”

ReadWriteWeb reported:

“This is definitely an interesting strategy for Seesmic. Brands obviously want to use Twitter to connect to mainstream users.”

VentureBeat said:

“Seesmic Look is radically different from any other social media dashboard out there.” offered:

“… it is clear they have achieved momentum and are looking to find new ways to bring the realtime Web discussions out of the edge and into the norm.”

and Mashable put it bluntly:

“…if this can’t get Mom and Dad connected to Twitter, I’m not sure anything can.

You can try it here (remember it is only for Windows for now). Let us know what you think of Seesmic Look.

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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