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Live chatting with Twitter for when 140 characters aren’t enough

140 characters can be restricting

For a variety of reasons, 140 characters allowed in Twitter can be restricting and sometimes you need live interaction rather than moving conversation to email. We’ve been playing with which allows you to set up a chat room that you sign in with using your Twitter account. You can set up a private or a public group and the public group is stored.

When logged in, it acts as a Twitter application, showing all of your friends’ updates and anyone in your public or private room(s) are lit up in green on the left hand side. With a simple invitation, other users can chat in real time via

It is clear that we’ve come full circle from IRC to chat to Facebook to Twitter back to IRC/chat and that deeper conversations and connections are being sought out and technologists are answering. The down side is that I don’t find this service to be very intuitive and until cleaned up and a better user interface is developed, some people will be turned off as they try to figure it out without help. I think adoption rate might suffer as a result of the design (and their not minding the details- we and others found a huge typo in the big orange “join” button that says “joing”).

Four ways to use

Despite the down side which is mostly preferential in nature, the functionality and idea is great, so let’s talk about ways this product can supplement your Twittering.

  1. For real estate or technology conferences, bar camps, or social events, this is a great way to expand event presence and be a simple non-branded and passive tool to be used as a back channel.
  2. If a client is most comfortable with Twitter and you find yourself tweeting bits and pieces here and there, a conversation can easily and non-threateningly be moved to the chat platform.
  3. For community building, host a weekly or monthly community chat-up and invite your local Twitter contacts to gab about the city via Or, connect your blog to home buyers with hosted chats about the current market.
  4. This could be a great tool for broker office communication for the tech savvy brokerages embracing Twitter.

What other ways can you think of to use Feel free to join the Agent Genius group where we’ll continue testing it out and possibly hold regularly scheduled chats!


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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Joe Sheehan

    May 18, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    way cool 🙂

  2. Connie Reece

    May 19, 2010 at 12:46 am

    I’ve been looking for something like this. Except I want one that anyone can sign in to with their Twitter account (preferably using OAuth), but at the same time it funnels your updates out of the main Twitter stream and into the chat room. The reason being, when I’m participating in a weekly Twitter chat, my level of tweeting goes WAY up, which can be annoying to followers.

  3. Joe

    May 19, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Looking for ways to increase on Twitter’s 140 character limit might mean too much time is being spent on Twitter. Unless a person is Tweeting with other real estate agents, who are not our next customer, I’m not seeing the rewards in using Twitter. I’m just saying!

  4. Erica Ramus

    May 19, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I can see a use for that. A few days ago I had a twitter exchange with another agent that turned into DM’ing for an hour back and forth, brainstorming about marketing. It was almost IM’ing but a bit awkward.

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