If you know me personally, then you know that I’m a huge Twitter addict, but I have to admit that some of Twitter’s usability is a little lacking. 140 characters limits long-winded-self-promoters to just a few words, which prompts the use of shortened URLS for the maximum tweetage. But with the use of shortened links, tweets may contain links to either really cool content or spammy websites and self promoting blogs. So how can we know for sure where those shortened links are taking us without clicking on them? Also, is that twitpic your friend just sent of his breakfast worth taking the time to open up in a new window? If you struggle with these dilemmas everyday like I do, then Brizzly is here to help. An enhanced way to experience Twitter, the site pulls in your Twitter feed and takes its usability to the next level. Plus its mascot is a really cute grizzly bear.
What makes Brizzly really cool is the fact that links are expanded to their original size so you can see where a link will take you, photos are revealed, and videos are embedded directly into the feed so you can easily start watching. Since I started using Brizzly, I’ve seen Twitpics that I never thought I’d see before by just glancing – no clicking required! Also, I check out a lot more videos now, which I might’ve have otherwise missed. Brizzly reveals links from twitpic, Yfrog, Flickr, etc., maps from Google Maps, and video from YouTube and Vimeo.
Direct messages appear in an IM style box to the right of your Twitter feed along with an alert, which is a hell of a lot easier than clicking on “direct message” everytime you want to check your messages. You can also add up to five different Twitter accounts and manage them all from the Brizzly interface.
An added feature totally unique to Brizzly is the “groups” function, which lets you filter the conversation based on network. For example, you can add the people you’re following to various groups like “Work,” “Friends,” “Celebrities,” etc. Brizzly basically has all the features of regular Twitter with added helpful things like the IM feature, tweet drafts, trends explained, and expanded URLs and pictures. Although unavailable to the public yet, you can sign up for this free tool on Brizzly.com. Pretty much, Brizzly rules.