Tweetchat (As We Know It) Shuts Down: What Do Twitter Chat Hosts Do?

One of the major reasons that I shut #Fitblog down last week rather than letting it run through 2013 was the news that Twitter was making major API changes that would result in many of our favorite tools — including — to shut down.

And this week, it happened. Well, it kind of happened. Tweetchat was acquired by Internet Media Labs and has been turned off. The technology is supposedly being morphed into another tool called OneQube’s SmartStream, which — if you believe it — will be better.

not that impressive...yet

not that impressive…yet

(I’ve tried it and several so-called alternatives and all seem to be buggy, clunky, often require downloads, etc. so frankly, I can’t recommend an alternative at this point. OneQube is getting good reviews from others, so stay tuned.)

I think the bigger question about Twitter chats is…what’s their future from a content/community strategy? When they first launched, they were a great and innovative way of pulling people together for quick Q&A sessions, collaborations and more. But they’ve turned more toward Twitter parties, which have their value but are less interesting to me, and I think they’ve lost their spark.

The technology has gotten better over the last few years — Google Hangouts allow people to essentially produce and broadcast their own talk shows, and Facebook now offers groups, group chat and more — so I’m curious to know what you would like to see in online chats. Do you want video/audio conferencing? Webinar-style sessions, or just Internet-driven networking sessions?

One of my goals in the next few weeks is to figure out how to continue to serve YOU, my readers and Twitter friends, and I need your help.

Oh, and to answer the question posed in the title: What Do Twitter Chat Hosts Do?

a) hope that the recent Twitter changes aren’t going to stop them
b) gracefully end things
c) accept an alternative platform that may not be as good as Tweetchat
d) hang on until a better alternative appears

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  1. says

    As a twitter chat participant, I usually just use Twitter web (or Tweetdeck/Hootsuite if I’m out and about). I tried TweetChat a couple of times, but it just didn’t seem to work as easily. From a host’s perspective, what was advantage of something like TweetChat over other Twitter apps or the web interface?

  2. says

    I don’t get it… I just used Tweetchat last night! I did see the OneCube acquisition, but didn’t play with it.

    I tried to get a pilot project off the ground using Google+ Hangouts modelled on #FitBlog chats (and tagged you in the post) but I got close to zero interest, so I decided to put it on the back burner.

  3. says

    I hadn’t checked out tweetchat, or even tweetdeck or hootsuite. But when technology changes I usually wait a bit before diving into the next thing. For example, the day google reader announced their plans I waited a few weeks, then read the reviews people had posted, and moved over to feedly. And so far I haven’t had any issues with feedly. Hopefully something is created soon for you!

  4. says

    Im holding out for D but doing C in the meantime. I don’t think Twitter chats are dead yet, at least not for super niche topics. If there’s a way to bring tons of people together over a topic in a live and time-limited way more efficiently, I haven’t seen it. Google Hangouts are limited by the number of people who can attend (10) and the very nature of people talking over one another. It’s hard to have side convos in G+ hangouts as well. Sigh. Maybe something like Branch would still serve the function of a Twitter chat… Not sure what alternatives ill be using for Tweetchat though for now.

  5. says

    I struggle with the Tweetchat migration a lot. I used it as much for chat as I did to follow specific hashtags.

    Out of curiosity, do you know of a free RSS feed creator? I want to migrate away from Feedburner but am having trouble finding soemthing new.

  6. says

    Interesting read. I was a big fan of twitter chats when they first sprang up, but as they’ve become more commercialized, they seem to have lost their appeal. I’ll be interested to see where the next evolution of real-time community convo goes. Google hangouts have their appeal, but b/c of the size limitation in actual participation, I’m not sure how well that substitute? Or maybe, it will be even better… since it controls the convo more manageably? Either way, thanks for sharing your insights :)

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