If you’re a social media fiend, or more specifically a Twitter-holic, CrowdRiff’s Riffle Chrome extension could be just what you need for quick at-a-glance information about your, or other people’s interest, engagement, and activity across the social network.

While it’s only one of a plethora of Twitter analytics tools — not forgetting our very own TNW Labs creation, Twitter Counter — Riffle plugs in to some of the most popular dashboards people use to access the service (like HootSuite, the TweetDeck Web app, mention, Salesforce and more) as well as working across the Twitter home page.

Getting started

To start using Riffle, you just need to install the free Chrome extension and sign in using Twitter. Once you’ve done this, you’ll still need to provide an email address in order to complete your sign-up and use the extension.

Once you’ve created your account and granted Riffle access to your Twitter profile (it doesn’t require permission to tweet on your behalf), any time you load up Twitter on the Web (below-left) or any of the aforementioned clients, like TweetDeck (below-right), a little icon will appear next to each user’s name.

Riffle platforms 730x248 Riffle: a handy Chrome extension for viewing Twitter activity across various platforms

Clicking the icon pops up the Riffle sidebar revealing the social stats for that user, like the number of followers they have, how many retweets they receive per tweet and a whole bunch more metrics. Alternatively, you can open the Riffle extension and search for a particular user rather than browsing through your stream.

I realized pretty quickly that my Twitter presence is perhaps less exciting than some other people’s, so I started researching other TNW staff to see how we stacked up.

Riffle staff 730x598 Riffle: a handy Chrome extension for viewing Twitter activity across various platforms

While part of me treats data like this as a useful but perhaps not necessarily reliable indicator of social performance, there are still some actionable insights to be gleaned from just a few seconds perusal, and that’s more than lots of other platforms can boast. Nonetheless, I have no recollection of ever tweeting the #Blinksocl hash tag, for example – and no results are returned if you click on it, so I’m not sure what these results are being based on.

Those bar charts at the bottom of the images above show the number of tweets sent each day by each user, and mousing over each gives the daily total.  In a glance, I can see that I tweet a lot less regularly than other people, and that on weekends my Twitter presence is practically non-existent.

I particularly like how the extension also provides icons to show the platforms favored by each user (denoted by the Windows and Android icon at the top of my panel), as well as quick links to a user’s other connected social networks like Klout, Facebook, Google+ and more.

Simplicity

The key difference here for me is the simplicity of Riffle’s approach. Many rival services focus on providing a wealth of stats, but if you want to understand them properly it often requires a significant time investment that a lot of users won’t be willing to make.

That’s not to say that there’s no useful data here though, and no doubt brands and marketeers could ultimately put it to good use, particularly considering it supports many of the most popular Twitter clients.

The approach might be a bit too simplistic for some social users, but for me, Riffle gives a solid overview of a Twitter user without requiring me to learn what everything means. Sometimes, less really is more.

Riffle

Featured Image Credit - Gil C / Shutterstock.com