Brizzly has long been one of my favorite Twitter clients. But as Twitter itself has kept adding new features, there’s been less and less of a reason to use it. But a new feature that just rolled out may bring me back: Picnics.
We’ve written a little bit about Picnics before, but it was never entirely clear just how useful it would be without using it. But after playing around with it for a little bit just now, I think it will be very useful. It’s not that it’s some groundbreaking new idea, but it’s the integration with services I use all the time that makes it killer. Basically, Picnics is a way to turn Twitter into a chatroom. You create a Picnic and invite your friends from Twitter to join and you can talk to one another in short messages.
Again, this is nothing groundbreaking, but what’s great is the integration with the Twitter stream. For example, each tweet in your main stream in Brizzly now has a new option to send a DM to that person and send the conversation to a Picnic. And Picnics are better than basic DMs because multiple people can join them. It’s an easy way to make your own private Twitter conversation stream on the fly.
And there’s a way to have separate one-on-one conversations with participants in Picnics using the Sidebar option. This reminds me a bit of what LiveFyre was doing with its Breakout conversations (though Livefyre is more topic-based). And Sidebar conversations stick around no matter which Picnic you’re in.
The key to all of this is that it’s adding a useful new funtionality to something you’re likely going to want to have open anyway (your Twitter stream). And when coupled with the fact that Brizzly also gives you one-click access to your Facebook stream as well, Brizzly is once again very attractive. It actually reminds me a bit of FriendFeed Groups (which I miss), but a bit more simplified because it’s really just like Twitter. In a time when most third-party developers seem scared that Twitter is going to launch features that eliminate the need for them, Brizzly has found a couple that help it stand out.