Over a year ago, I sung praises about Buffer. If you’re as of yet unfamiliar with this, it’s a web app that allows you to schedule specific times when you want to post to your favourite social networks. More specifically, you can keep on writing without fear of bombarding everyone’s timeline. It was a neat idea and nicely designed service the last time I used it, but it’s even better now.
It has been over twelve months since I’ve used Buffer. My primary reason for leaving it was that it was still in its infancy, and they did not have an iOS app available. This meant that I had to deal with emailing status updates to a special email address that Buffer would parse. This week I had purpose to come back to the service, as I recently joined App.net.
App.net is currently in alpha, and although quite usable in its current state, it’s still far from feature complete. This means that there are no beautiful third party iOS apps that will satiate your desires at the moment. I feel rather spoiled to use Tapbot’s Tweetbot for Twitter. They have a sublime iPhone and iPad app available, both which sync your timeline via iCloud and feature exquisite attention to detail. Since it’s still early days, it will no doubt be a while before we get some fully polished App.net iOS apps to try.
It remains to be seen how many people will end up on App.net — at least most of the people that I follow, and vice versa. I’m not quite ready to abandon my Twitter accounts just yet. I still enjoy the service for the most part, and although their continuously heavy handed developer guidelines irritate me, there is no reason why I can’t use both services at the same time.
Buffer comes in to help me capture what I want to say — on my own schedule, but lets me post to both Twitter and now App.net. Integration has been recently added, so it’s as easy as authenticating your account in order post to the service. Typically I hate cross posting my words, but I feel this is necessary right now. The initial uptake on users will be slow, as the barrier to mass entry is the $50 price tag attached to signing up for an App.net account. Whilst I don’t see a problem with the business model — in fact I wholeheartedly support it — it means I’ll need to continue to post on both services so I don’t leave anyone on Twitter behind. Perhaps one day when the majority of people I’m interested in have moved to App.net, I will be able to safely close my Twitter account. That day is not today.
If you haven’t already tried Buffer, I really recommend giving it a shot. It’s free to signup, but you can also pay for a premium $10 per month account to get more features. They not only have a beautifully designed website, but they now also have great native iOS and even Android apps available to you.