Sick of Tweeting? Try One of These Twitter Alternatives!

October 19, 2010, By Christian Cawley

Twitter is a popular online service which allows users to “microblog” – basically they make statements, observations and share links in 140 characters. This doesn’t sound like much but it is a remarkably popular service, now playing host to celebrities, press agencies and even sportsmen.

It is one of the big successes of the current Internet age – but with this increase in popularity comes negativity. Along with the endless commercial interests that are gaining a foothold in Twitter to promote their latest wares, the platform has a bit of a spam problem. Basically what happens is that someone follows you and soon mentions you in one of their posts along with a shortened URL to the webpage they want you to see. This might be a legitimate site or it might be a spoofed site designed for phishing.

Either way, there are alternatives to Twitter that allow you to stick to the brief microblogging that you’re used to.

Tumblr – a Top Alternative to Twitter

It’s strange that Twitter has become so popular, and one of the main reasons for this can only have been the initial ease with which it was possible to send tweets from a mobile phone, with or without a data connection.

Although Twitter is becoming more and more multimedia friendly [LINK] Tumblr has been offering this sort of functionality from the off. Signup is easy (just visit www.tumblr.com) and you can quickly add text, images, quotes, share web links, or add audio and video clips without the inconvenience of uploading to a third party website.

Tumblr layouts are also configurable, so unlike Twitter where they only thing you can customize is the background image, with Tumblr a variety of layouts and backgrounds can be used.

Plurk – What’s Going On?

A quite different take on the whole microblogging/Twitter method online social interaction, Plurk has an initially confusing sideways scrolling timeline.

Private “Plurks” are available, and you can also add Twitter, Yahoo and Facebook status integration to Plurk, saving you the trouble of updating these services as well. You can invite friends to use Plurk add photos and even use its search facility to find people and subjects. Like Twitter, Plurk has a variety of mobile apps supporting access to it on the move. Unlike Twitter however, Plurk can seem rather quiet; it seems to be a potentially powerful tool that without better support might end up as nothing more than a Twitter client.

Google Buzz

Relatively new from the search giants is Google Buzz, a new way to send social updates and microblogs. Whereas Twitter is limited to the old 140 characters, Google Buzz doesn’t seem to have a limit. Using Google Buzz you can add websites such as a Blogger blog or your Twitter account, saving you the time and effort of manually posting on Twitter (which if you’ve fallen out of love with it, you probably won’t be doing anyway). If you’re sticking with Twitter, your tweets will appear as updates in Google Buzz.

If you like posting images to your followers, Flickr and Picasa accounts can also be added to Google Buzz, whereas photos from your hard drive can be posted directly using Buzz.

Google Buzz feels like an alternative to Twitter that is just waiting to catch fire – and with a free Buzz account for everyone with a Google account it should really be doing just that.

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