If you follow a cabal of active tweeters on Twitter, you know that paying attention to each one is a challenge. Stepping away from an Internet connection can leave you with a pile of tweets that you’ll more than likely gloss over as you scroll to the most recent updates, and in doing so, you might be missing out on important stories shared through links. New app Chirps – Read links on twitter, distraction-free, for iPhone and iPod Touch, offers users a new method of reading Twitter, by only displaying content featuring links.
Although the idea sounded promising, Chirps, overall, is problematic. First, you need to turn on the filter function to hide tweets without links. Instead of finding this in the settings panel, the feature is located behind the word “Chirps” on the top menu bar. I only found this by looking at screenshots for the app. I suppose the option to view all tweets is nice if you become a dedicated Chirps user (you won’t), but it’d make much more sense for the default view to be links only, rather than the opposite.
I do like that Chirps offers support for bookmarking services like Read It Later and Instapaper, and that users can view content in full screen or regular web view. But I think Chirps’ biggest drawback is that it offers no way to differentiate the inane from the links that Chirps is aiming to promote. If the app was able to filter out images or say, foursquare check-ins, there might be merit in spending time with Chirps. As it stands, my current Twitter reader offers a mute function for these sorts of tweets, and that puts it a step ahead of Chirps.
Chirps – Read links on twitter, distraction-free is on sale for 99 cents, but there’s little reason to give it a go in its current form.