Last year you may remember that Twitter fell under a fair bit of criticism for the way it was trying to curb third-party client apps. Twitter’s head of Platform Ryan Sarver said at the time that developers shouldn’t create new apps “that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.”
Though Twitter backtracked somewhat on its original hardline approach, part of the reason why Twitter was moving to stop developers was that they wanted a universal brand that worked consistently across all Twitter platforms, so as to avoid confusion with users.
This meant that the myriad of Twitter apps that “looked kind of like Twitter, and did sort of the same thing” weren’t going to be encouraged. “While I think we could’ve improved the way we messaged it, the message itself is still a credible and important one to give,” Sarver told us at the time.
Set against that backdrop, a new Twitter client has hit our radar, one that cannot possibly lead to confusion with (potential) users.
Feel On: Comics in your Twitter timeline
Feel On lets users spruce their tweets with emotion-based comic strip illustrations. The app is a product of Tokyo-based L is B Corporation, launching initially for the Japanese market in April 2011. It has notched up 250,000 users to date.
With the launch of an English-language version for Android devices, the company hopes to open the app up to millions more users.
When you first launch the app after authenticating with Twitter, you’ll note that the general layout and position of buttons mimic that of the genuine Twitter app. Yet, the difference is immediately visible: Feel On turns Twitter timelines into cute and fun illustrations, pulling on keywords contained within each tweet to decide which illustration to use:
When you construct a tweet from within the app, you’re given a choice of comic strip to use with your message. And for those viewing the tweet on the Web or through a client such as TweetDeck, they’ll see the image either linked or embedded depending on which platform they’re using:
Last June, Feel On was awarded first prize in SF New Tech Japan Night. Now, with an English incarnation on the market, the company hopes to grow across the board.
“We are planning to develop our business in the South East Asian market, starting with the release of this English version,” a company spokesperson says. “It’s time for Feel On, the most unique Twitter client, to spread its wings around the world with the important role of familiarizing Japanese Manga culture to the whole world. We are going to do our best to develop Feel On.”
Meanwhile, feel free to check out all our other TNW Pick of the Day selections.