What, exactly, is the Twitter Peek?

I just got my hands on the the Twitter Peek (AKA the Tweek) and I’m trying to figure out who, specifically, this is for. First, let’s consider this my review: this device is not very good if you’re a Twitter “power user” like myself or anyone else with maybe 100+ followers and a few hundred folks you follow. To be clear, this isn’t quite Peek’s fault as they’re clearly not interested in pleasing users like me. They’re looking for folks from a different aviary, presumably new Twitter users who haven’t quite gotten hooked, but are interested in the service enough to stick with it — and have $199 burning a hole in their pockets as well. If you know any of those people, please send them to Amazon to pick this up.

For the rest of us, this thing is pretty rough. I follow 2104 people and so this thing was buzzing and Tweeting all afternoon until I finally turned it off. Weird batches of tweets would come in, all from one person, for example, or weird messages like “Oh Hey, you’re Tweeting so much! We’re going to try to catch up” or something to that effect. It’s also really slow. You have to click twice to read a Tweet – once to bring up the menu and once to read the Tweet – and scrolling is really bad. And it makes a buzzing and a tweeting noise when tweets come in – which is all the time. And it’s $99 with 6 months free or $199 for life. And it only does Twitter. No email. No texting. I’m really selling this thing, aren’t I?

What Peek has done, however, is create one of the first standalone Twitter devices. This is kind of a big deal and I’m going to talk about this more later this week. I suspect the rise of Twitter as a service and as a cultural entity. As I just retweeted, Manischewitz is now on Twitter. Yeah, the guys who make a nice matzo ball soup.

While I’m sure this will be relegated to the dustbin of history, we can say we were alive at a moment when a service gained so much traction that it was made flesh. Interestingly, Peek clearly knows what they’re doing here and they’re small enough to make a few mistakes on the way – again, more on that later – but, and this is momentous as the moon landing, spotting the first Tweek in the wild will mean Twitter is finally mainstream.