Review: Seesmic Desktop

So, Seesmic Desktop came out a little over a week ago and I have finally had time to do a proper review. The first few days I was unable to use it do to some major bugs that wouldn’t let me sign in to my account, thankfully Loic and the Dev team at Seesmic had it fixed within several days, along with several other issues. Well let me get down to business and do a quick review of the product.

Why you might want to use the Seemic Desktop over other Twitter Apps

  • Multiple Account Support

It’s one of the few Twitter Apps that allows you to be logged into multiple accounts at once and helps to automatically reply with the appropriate account. Has easy switching above the update field.

  • Allows you to create Groups and Save Searches

It’s also one of the few apps that lets you group users, following after its main competitor Tweetdeck. Saved searches are a continuation from Twhirl that makes ego searching Twitter a far easier experience. These 2 items make it a huge force when you are handling multiple accounts and managing marketing efforts.

  • Offers a multi-column view

Though I don’t prefer this view; many people that Seesmic is trying to draw are coming from Tweetdeck where this is what they had. The issue that this brings up is that it takes up the whole monitor, which isn’t appropriate for someone who only has access to 1 monitor, say a laptop user.

  • Future Integration with many other services

This is a given, after all they have integrated multiple services into their prior client Twhirl. I’d expect to see Facebook, Friendfeed, Seesmic, and support on it at the least. They also have built in Ping.FM support on Twhirl and I’d expect to see that included soon as many people are requesting its addition. Loic is also speaking to Kevin Rose, Founder of Digg, and I wouldn’t be all that surprised if they worked Digg into the mix.

Even with all these major pluses to Seesmic Desktop there are also some issues that still need to be resolved with Desktop

  • Wastes a Large Amount of Screen Real-Estate

Wasted Space

As you can see from @guykawasaki‘s image (above) there is a large amount of wasted space. Now as I mentioned in the multi-column view it’s no good for a single monitor set up and it’s still no good with all the wasted space in general. They have stated that they are working on a minimalist version so hopefully they will fix this issue.

  • Slightly Memory Intensive

I was playing around with it and it seems a bit of a glutton with how it treats your memory. Upon opening and signing into 2 accounts I was seeing about 95MB + ~5MB for each new column. Not the prettiest use of resources but still not to bad with only a few columns.

  • Currently Doesn’t Offer Customizations

The UI isn’t all that pretty and you can’t modify how the text looks at this point. So it is costing them some users with bad eyes or those who enjoy modifying their applications interfaces.

  • No Distinction of Read/Unread tweets

This was the biggest one of all for me, it’s the main reason I don’t use any app besides Twhirl. I like having an easy way of telling if I have read something, because my time is important and right now they don’t offer it. This is where Tweetdeck screwed up and the main reason I couldn’t use their product.

How does it stand up to the other apps

Right now, I won’t be using it often. I’ll use it over Tweetdeck because the interface is still more pleasing, but hands down Twhirl has my heart and until they pull most of it into the service I won’t use it frequently. I give it about 3 months until it becomes my primary App, because it is amazing and it shows promise. Overall, I think Seesmic Desktop is good and will be extremely useful as people begin to amass ever larger groups of friends/followers.

P.S.- Loic, Thomas, or anyone else that works on the Seesmic Desktop. I have a suggestion to help save some screen space and to also improve the UI. You could replace the Sidebar with something similar to Opera’s Panels. This simple interface change would allow for huge space savings and an easier interface to interact with.