Plume: Twitter, Simplified

When I first started using Twitter, I honestly didn’t know what I was doing or why I was even joining the service.  I knew that it was popular and so I decided to check it out. At first, I thought it was cool that I could follow my friends, but the more I started to use the service, the more I realized how it was much more than that. What used to be a way to communicate with friends is now more of a way to actually know what is going on in the world in an instant.

But if you are anything like me, you have followed a lot of people, companies, brands, news outlets, etc. to stay on top of the latest and greatest news that you are interested in. Sometimes we just want to cut through the noise and focus on the links that are important to us and not have to worry about what someone is eating today. Well, the developers of Plume have come out with an app that does just that; they can filter out the random posts about what people ate for breakfast and present you with the tweets that are more important to you.

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What Is Plume?

What you have to first understand about Plume is that it is not a full fledged Twitter client, but don’t let that detract you. What it does is scan your Twitter feed for tweets that have links in them and then presents you with those tweets so that you can read further. You can then open the links from within the app to read the article and you can save it for later reading as well.

Plume Homepage

Plume Homepage

The Many Views of Plume

What I appreciate about Plume is that they give you multiple ways to look at your tweets, and not just a timeline. There is nothing wrong with a simple timeline (which they do give you by the way), but it is nice to have other options. Another view that you are given is one where you can see only the tweets that have yet to be read, which personally is my favorite option. That way I know exactly what I need to read and I don’t have to keep scrolling to find them. When I am finished I can click on the checkmark, and they are marked as viewed so I can move on.

Timeline View (left) Unread View (right)

Timeline View (left) Unread View (right)

Another view that you can use in Plume is what they call Feathers, which is similar to Twitter Lists. You can create them by adding users to the group and then Plume will pull in their tweets that have links associated with them. This is a good way to see your tweets on a specific topic and helps you further organize them for your benefit. If you are someone who has set up Twitter lists, then you can import them into Plume and not use this feature at all.

Adding users to Feather (left) Feather List (right)

Adding users to Feather (left) Feather List (right)

Finally, if you are in a hurry and you can only glace through your feed, they have a Save button where you can save an article for later reading. You can then go back later and look at all your saved articles in one view, which is nice to have especially if you don’t have much time during the day to read your links.

Reading, Saving and Sharing Articles

Of course, Plume distinguishes itself from other Twitter clients by letting you see tweets with links, so it is only natural that they want to be able to present you with a quality way to read them. The nice part about this is that similar to the choices you get for viewing your tweets, they give you a variety of options to view them. When you click on one in a tweet, you have the option of seeing an excerpt of the article or the full version, which will take you to the actual webpage of it but you will stay inside of Plume. They also have a mobilized view where you can see a simple view of the article without all of the clutter.

Excerpt version of article (left) Full version (right)

Excerpt version of article (left) Full version (right)

Outside of being able to save a tweet within Plume, you also have the option to save it to Instapaper or send it by email. I wish there were more choices than just these and hopefully this is something they expand upon in the future. The same can be said for its sharing options in that you can retweet something or you can just tweet out the link. That is it as far as sharing, which for most people that may be fine, but again, it would be nice to have other choices.

Sharing and saving options

Sharing and saving options

Fills a Need

The thing that I like about Plume is that it fulfills a need that I have, which is a way to cut through all my tweets and only read the ones that have articles. For someone like me who tends to use Twitter as a way to stay up on the world, this is a great app to have. The only problem is that the masses of people who use Twitter probably won’t flock to Plume because many people use the service for more than just a way to consume their news. For the majority of people, using just a regular Twitter client with lists is going to be enough for them. Plume is more of a power user app, and that is not a bad thing, they just won’t be as popular as other Twitter clients.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I really like what Plume does and I think they did it right by going with an iPhone only app first. It felt perfect for the iPhone as it gave me a quick and easy way to get through the news stories of the day while I was out and about. I think they could do a little polishing of the UI, but other than that, it is a solid experience. If you are one who uses Twitter to consume the latest and greatest news, then this is definitely worth checking out.


Summary

A Twitter app that pulls all your tweets that have links in them and presents them to you.

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  • Leonick

    Heh, when I first saw the headline I thought it would be an iOS version of the android twitter client called Plume, the simplified part didn’t quite make sense at that point :P

    Not the best choice of name there. I guess it’s enviable there will be some other app with the same name but as a twitter client you might want to avoid using the same name as another twitter client.

  • http://www.thepapermail.com Jacob Penderworth

    I thought the same thing as Leonick when reading that title. The app looks really nice though. I’ll have to try it out.

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