Friday, July 17, 2009

Creating Groups for Twitter

One of the most demanded features for Twitter has been the ability to create groups, allowing members to focus on different sets of people they’re following. For example, you could create groups for all of your fantasy league friends, colleagues at work, friends in real life, family members, and so on.

Because Twitter still does not provide any group feature, it has opened the floodgates for countless third party solutions. There are many different ways Twitter members can create virtual groups. Here is a roundup of some of the most popular methods employed today.

Third Party Apps

TweetWorks – My favorite because it’s so quick and easy to setup a group. Here’s one that I created called Writers for people interested in writing. Groups can be public or private, which is a plus. Another good option is the ability to post messages just to your group or to the group and the public Twitter timeline at the same time. Currently there is a limit to the number of private groups you can create or join but eventually there will be a premium account with an unlimited option. You don’t need to join the service, but you do need to login with your Twitter account (If you’re concerned with security, you can view theirprivacy policy here).

TwitTangle – You don’t just create groups on this service but also tag and rate your friends which helps you filter your timeline any way you want. The best feature is batch grouping which lets you drag and drop many friends easily into the groups you’ve created. You’ll need to use your Twitter name and password to login to this service.

TwitTag – This isn’t really a group tweeting service, but a tag searching service that you can use to filter tweets according to whatever unique hashtag you’ve established for your group. For example, you could include a hashtag like #MyNewGroup in any message you post on Twitter and TwitTag will group all of those messages together on its service.

Filttr – A new service that provides the ability to establish groups according to filters (hence its name) that you apply to your own Twitter stream. You create your groups by simply clicking each name you want to add to that group.

Twitter Clients

TweetDeck – This has become one of the most popular Twitter clients because of the way you can create groups with all of your contacts and filter messages the way you want them. It requires Adobe Air and sports a slick black interface.

twhirl – Another wildly popular Twitter client that also includes support for FriendfeedFriendFeed. While there’s no inherent way to create groups for Twitter (as you can with TweetDeck), you can use its Friendfeed connection to access Friendfeed’s Rooms feature which acts like a grouping tool.

Twitter – You can use Twitter’s powerful search tool to create an adhoc group similar to the method explained in TwitTag which involves using unique hashtags for your groups.

Your Own Twitter Service

If none of these floats your boat then why not roll your own Twitter-like service for your group? Many solutions offer free ways to do so with little effort on your part.

Yammer – Most likely the most popular Twitter-Clone service around today. The biggest complaint is that all members must have the same domain in their email address.

Twingr – The members are not restricted to using the same domain in email addresses here. Every group gets their own URL such as

QikCom – Similar to Yammer except Qikcom offers several premium accounts that include more administrative functions and tools. You can customize the free accounts with your own logo and add as many employees as you want. – You can host your own Twitter-like service on your own server inside your firewall if you want thanks to this open source solution that continues to gain traction. This is the technology that runs on so you can test it out without installing it.

Source: Mashable