Seesmic introduces new web-based client

Last week, Seesmic launched a new web-based Twitter client (as well as a fairly substantial update to its Adobe Air-based Seesmic Desktop client). I spent the weekend playing around with it, and am happy to report that, while still rough around the edge, Seesmic Web has potential.

In its default configuration Seesmic Web looks a lot like the desktop version, with multiple columns: one for all incoming Tweets (they call this Timeline), one for Mentions (aka Replies) and one for Sent Tweets. These can be toggled on or off from a navigation pane on the left side of the screen. There is also a Direct Message column, but for some reason that takes over the app's window and you can only see the DM column by itself.

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Traditional view (top) and new List view (bottom)

One of the interesting features Seesmic Web introduces is a 'List' view. Toggling this on shows a list of Tweets, sans icon, in a view that resembles an email client's in-box. It allows you to scan Tweets very quickly. Clicking on a Tweet brings up a menu allowing you to Reply, DM, Retweet or Report Spam.

Scroll to the bottom of a pane and you'll find a 'More' button similar to the one on the Twitter web page. Clicking it loads the next ten Tweets, moving in reverse chronological order.

Seesmic's Loic Lemeur calls this a "Preview" version of the Seesmic Web (see his video at the bottom of this post), and there are a few features missing as well as a few rough edges. There's no support for multiple accounts, for one thing. Nor are there any user-defined Settings. In the List view, particularly, I'd like for the 'More' button to bring up more than ten Tweets at a time and I'd like to define what that number is. When a new Tweet arrives, it has a tinted background to show that it is new, but there's no way to indicate which Tweets you've read; this would be particularly helpful across sessions. I also had some problems where a new Tweet coming in would 'reset' a pane to the default Tweets (though that appears to have already been addressed).

But these few caveats aside, for a first whack at a richly featured web-based app, Seesmic Web is pretty interesting. It is free to use at http://seesmic.com/web/.

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