“Twitter Parties are great for company promotions and sales. Twitter Chats are great for branding and continued client engagement” -Deborah Anderson, SocialWebCafe.com.
Some companies were prepared for Twitter API change. Some companies caught up to the API change, and some are still working on the kinks and changes.
Just like any other technology-based company, there have been many API changes in Twitter's life. What is an API change? It is a software-based change and impacts tools like the Twitter Chat tools because it affects how the tool communicates with Twitter.com and how Twitter communicates back to the tool.
The tool itself is simply a tweet viewer and, since Twitter Chats are based on following (and tweeting) a certain hashtag, the tool queries for that hashtag and many tools help the tweep but auto-filling a tweet box with the hashtag so that the resulting tweet is ready to be queried. That is the functionality behind the Twitter Chat (or Twitter Party).
It is possible to simply search for the hashtag, within Twitter. One can also use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to create a filtered column for that particular hashtag. Many times the Twitter Chat tools add even more functionality. The following is a list of three such tools.
Twubs moved quickly to get caught up with the API change, back in July, and facilitated a strategic move of contacting many Twitter Chat hosts for a preview of the tool. This helped to create an excitement as Twubs demonstrated the current technology (which was compatible with the API change) and managed to whet the appetites of the participants with what was to come (and is to come). Twubs is truly the leader, creating more than just a Twitter Chat tool, but also a Twitter Chat community page, allowing branding, collecting images and videos that are tweeted, membership rosters, and much more. Twubs was one of the earliest adopters of the API change, with their tool ready to go the moment the switch took place.
TweetChat was the previous giant in Twitter Chat tool world, but took a bit of a hiccup with the API change, limping a bit and then fizzling. However, the TweetChat people also moved quickly and sold their tool to Internet Media Labs. While Tweetchat did disappear for a week or two, they came back and have come back strong under the new ownership, adding features and ensuring that their code was solid under the new API. It looked, at first, as if they were out of the race, but now they are proving to be a worthy competitor of Twubs.
Tw-Chat is a product of Ann Smarty and Gerald Weber's Viral Content Buzz Labs. Even before the API change, in its beta form, it was a tool to be reckoned with, building on features that the other tools didn't have (easy follow, highlighted moderator(s), and question highlighting). It is still going through its final phases, since the API change, and is sure to catch up to Twubs and TweetChat very soon. With Ms. Smarty's history of adding features that appeal to users (see her MyBlogGuest platform for bloggers), tw-chat will be a worthy addition to the top three Twitter Chat tools. You will want to watch this one!
Whether you are a tweep addicted to twitter chats, desirous of a fun, virtual Twitter Party (with prizes), or simply curious, check out these three Twitter Chat tools that have shown that they can survive and survive well, even after a major Twitter API change.
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Deborah Anderson loves Los Angeles and keeping up with the news. She is the co-host of Marketing Momentum w/Charles and Deborah. You can keep up with her social media addiction @SocialWebCafe and keep up with the Los Angeles love @LuvLosAngeles. Connect with with her on Google+.