Recently released iPhone app Instant Tweetup provides a straightforward interface that, if the developer knocked off the $1.99 price tag (UPDATE: the app is now free, see comments), it could be an instant smash.
We came across Instant Tweetup (@instanttweetup) while browsing through the Twitter app directory, oneforty. With no reviews either on oneforty or on Apple’s App Store, it seems as if this very useful app has gone completely unnoticed since its launch in late January 2010, and we suspect that US$1.99 price tag was partially to blame. That’s too bad, because this well done, simple app, does exactly what the name implies – it lets you find and invite nearby Twitterers to an impromptu tweetup.
Here’s how the app works. After you buy it (again, we strongly suggest that this app be free) and launch it, all you do is use the simple slider bar to find people within 1-10 miles or kilometers (a nice touch) and click “Find peeps”. The next page shows a list of up to 20 Twitterers within that radius (UPDATE: developer says “I was more interested in the real-time nature of results, showing Peeps nearby, who were very recently active” & “the ability to have an infinite list would have delayed it’s release [on the App Store].”) Another nicely done feature is that the app works on both the iPhone and iPod Touch using Wi-Fi hotspots (many location apps do this but not all, so always good to see the developer went the extra step).
You can click on any of the resulting profiles to learn more about the person and then, after logging in with your Twitter credentials (which was painless), you can then either invite one or many of these Twitterers to meet you for a Tweetup by sending them a tweet. The editable tweet says, “Hi I’m nearby, found you through #instanttweetup want to meetup? I’m here…” and then attaches a bit.ly URL that links to Google Maps to display your current location in lat/long. That’s it – dead simple.
Of course, this app could be a blessing and a curse to people. First of all, receiving this random email from a stranger is going to certainly make people wonder if you’ve crossed the creepy line or not (and will inevitably lead people to think of PleaseRobMe we guess). This leads us to the #1 feature we’d like to see in this app (especially if the price tag remains) and that is integration with friends/follower lists. If this was an option, then users could use this app to find and meetup with people that they already have a “twitter relationship” with, which would greatly reduce the creepy/spam factor.
In an earlier post, we talked about how Brightkite might be a great partner to make social calendar service Plancast into an ideal social location network, but now we think Instant Tweetup is an even better fit. Think of it, you create a plan on Plancast and then use Instant Tweetup to find Twitter friends nearby and then invite them to meetup, and instead of adding a Google Maps link, the link goes right to the plan on Plancast. Instant tweetup? How about instant party?
Update: The app’s developer has just told us in tweet that he plans to add, “color coding to highlight people you follow. Also plan Foursquare and Buzz integration” (our emphasis).