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17 April 2008 @ 10am

blogging, friendfeed

Why Twitter and FriendFeed don’t mix well in desktop apps (yet)

I was just reading Corvida’s piece on the advantages of using Alert Thingy or Twhirl and if they should really go head to head with each other (that was before Twhirl added FriendFeed support last night – this stuff moves really fast right now).

As I was testing out Twhirl with FriendFeed support last night, I bemoaned (just like Steven Hodson does) that it doesn’t integrate Twitter but just adds a second window. What I’m still really hoping for is for both apps to get imageintegrated well with each other.

They already have a symbiotic relationship anyway – Twitter is the most popular service on FriendFeed.

But somehow, I keep wondering why the integration between the two in desktop apps is so difficult.

Here is the problem: Twitter is based strictly around chronology, FriendFeed is based around the current conversation (that is, FriendFeed always pushes the most current conversation back to the top of the page).

Integrating both services by just slapping them together would create a lot of chaos.

Right now, a desktop app would work best if it used FriendFeed as the base service and would allow posting to Twitter from there, somewhat like the web app does (I’m not sure the API allows for that, though), but also allowed posting directly to Twitter.

In order to integrate Twitter well into a FriendFeed app, the developer would have to adopt the FriendFeed scheme that values the currency of the conversation over the chronology of the Twitter feed.

The ideal desktop app would seamlessly integrate the two services by discovering the conversation that is ongoing in Twitter, somewhat like Tweetmeme does. That’s not a trivial thing to do, though, and I gather it’s going to take some development iterations before that is going to happen.