As we all know, today was Chrome Extension day. By now, you’ve likely tried out many of them and picked some that you like as well as those that you don’t. Easily one of my favorites so far is the Brizzly extension built by Thing Labs. It’s hands down the best-looking app out there right now, but it has some limitations.
Brizzly is a web app that gives you access to your Twitter stream and more recently, Facebook data. It’s Chrome extension offers just about everything the web app does in a much more compact package. You can see photos and videos right in your tweet stream without having to click through to another site. All URLs are expanded so you know exactly what you’re clicking on. You can favorite, reply, and retweet people with the click of a button. The last one will be of particular interest to those who hate the new Retweet functionality, since Brizzly still uses the old “RT” style syntax. And you can mute people (remove them from your stream without unfollowing them) and edit your Lists easily all within the extension.
And as I noted, the Brizzly extension looks great with its sleek black background. It also has a killer feature in that it auto-populates a link for whatever page you’re on when you hit the Brizzly extension icon. This makes it very easy to tweet out a piece of content with one click. I suspect a lot of Chrome users may start using this extension as their way to quickly share things they are reading.
But there are a couple of downsides to the Brizzly extension too. The main problem is that it takes a few seconds to load each time. This may not seem like a lot of time but it adds up. And it’s compounded by the fact that there is no new tweet notification badge for the extension icon. Another early Twitter-based extension, Chromed Bird, is both faster and has the badging capabilities to let you know when to click it. That said, it doesn’t look nearly as good, and lacks many of Brizzly’s advanced features (inline media, etc). Another issue is the Facebook connectivity. I’ve had problems bringing up my Facebook data all day, and a few times it has caused Chrome to crash (though it must be noted that I’m using Chromium on my Mac — here’s how to get those working — which isn’t officially supported yet).
Limitations aside, it’s one slick extension, and it’s impressive that the Thing Labs guys got it this polished in time for the official Extensions launch.