SXSW Social Winner Thirst Makes Twitter More Beautiful

May 25, 2012

1:00 pm

Is Twitter broken?

Success seems to hinge on this question for Thirst, winner of the SXSW Accelerator in social media and social networking. Thirst uses natural language processing to group together tweets around specific topics – like the election or the Facebook IPO – and add photos. Important tweets won’t tumble unseen into Twitter’s black hole, and you can see how they fit into the bigger conversation.

Twitter itself seems to think something is broken – and has attempted to fix it with the Discover section, with trending topics and photos. (I don’t know about you, but I rarely look there.)

But Thirst’s interface is more beautiful: huge colorful images with transparent text overlaid on them, and items ordered and sized according to your interests. Its iPad app launched earlier this month.

Founded in mid-2011, Thirst is seed-funded and graduated from UC Berkeley’s startup incubator, FounderSchool. They will be competing with a new wave of startups hoping to be the aggregators and curators of our social media streams – stay tuned.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact

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