Then I got an iPad and discovered the Flipboard app. This app compiles any feed (Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, blogs, and websites) into a visual magazine. Facebook status updates are viewable as images and articles instead of status reports with links. Twitter links of photos and articles show up instead of the tweets. The made a big difference in my Twitter experience:
1. On the most basic level, it got me back onto Twitter.
When I downloaded the app, the first two spaces of the contents page were reserved for my Facebook and Twitter streams. I didn't like seeing an empty Twitter box on my contents page, so I decided to sign back on. I did so, though, because I was already beginning to realize how Flipboard could help my Twitter experience...
2. The user experience is visual, and the focus is on the links.The contents page looks like this (each of the squares are customizable; these happen to be some of my feeds):
Tapping one of the icons opens the account in a magazine format, and each account will have 10 or so pages of content. For example, a page from the illustration blog Drawn's Twitter feed (@Drawn) looks like this:
Only when you tap one of the articles do you get the actual tweet:
From this page, I can favorite, retweet, reply, or forward the tweet. Flipboard is ideal for blogs or websites that are highly visual, because I like to scan the images before deciding to open a link.
3. It helps me manage "gusher" Twitter accounts.
Some people tweet such an enormous amount that their tweets threatened to overwhelm my timeline. Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki), for example, provides interesting content but at a rate of seemingly hundreds of tweets a day. So instead of following him, I have his Twitter feed set up in Flipboard and can see at a glance the items he is tweeting:
4. Flipboard introduced me to some great Twitter accounts.
When setting up my contents page, Flipboard recommended leading blogs and Twitter feeds in categories like Art & Photography, Tech & Science, Entertainment, Food & Dining, News, and the list goes on. The drawback to Flipboard is that it only allows 21 feeds on 2 pages of contents, so I can't follow all the people I would like on Flipboard. But by introducing me to some great content, I was able to find people to follow on Twitter that I otherwise would not have known about.
December 2011 update:
Flipboard now allows multiple users to set up their own accounts and includes an additional page of features, including a section that lets you view any of your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Tumblr, Google Reader, Instagram, Flickr, and 500px) and a long list of recommended feeds:
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