12seconds.tv Scratches the Surface of Twitter Integration


I got an email from 12seconds.tv the other day about their new Tweetbox feature. 12seconds is basically the Twitter of video, allowing you to post quick 12s videos via web or mobile. Their Tweetbox feature grabs the latest tweet about your 12seconds video and displays it on your profile.

Oh how we love Twitter!  We love it so much that we’ve decided to create a special feature that allows your Twitter friends to publicly comment on your videos.  All they have to do is include the Tiny12 link from your video in their tweet and we’ll automatically pull it in and put it right into your TweetBox.  You can find your TweetBox sitting right on your home and channel page.

12seconds Gets It Right

You can probably think of a million services that post to Twitter for you. Why do they always make this the priority? I can think of a few reasons:

  • From a developer stand-point, posting to Twitter is easy once I have your credentials
  • Posting a link to my service in your Twitter stream helps my service gain popularity
  • Some integration with Twitter, however half-assed, leads users to believe your service is on the bleeding edge

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing any service that makes an effort to integrate with other services, but there is a piece missing here that always bothers me. This is especially true of services like FriendFeed and Pikchur, where comments enrich the value of the service.

Discussion Fragmentation…Again

Let’s talk about FriendFeed. I import my updates from Twitter. People that see my item in FriendFeed have the option to comment on it. They also have the option to have that comment sent to me as a reply on Twitter.

What ends up happening is I get the reply in Twitter and continue the discussion on Twitter. Meanwhile, back on FriendFeed, there is a bunch of discussion going on that doesn’t get sent through Twitter. Not only that, but the discussion I’m having on Twitter doesn’t go back through FriendFeed. So, I’ve created two separate discusion threads from the same FriendFeed item.

What would be great is for FriendFeed to grab items from Twitter that are in-reply-to FriendFeed items. I’m not sure of the technical details here, but I think it’s possible. I also think it’s possibly difficult, but I have my blogger hat on right now, so I’ll leave the technical discussion alone for now.

12seconds Could Do It Better

As it stands, 12seconds only grabs the single latest tweet about your videos and displays it on your channel page. There is no Tweetbox on the individual video pages. The context of the comment is pretty much stripped away as it’s unclear which video the tweet is about. The remedy for this would be to grab all tweets about a specific video and display them as comments on that video’s page.

12seconds has set themselves up for success here because they can simply (again, speaking as just a blogger) grab any tweets that mention their URL’s and correlate them to their user’s and videos using their own database.

FriendFeed also has it’s own URL shortening service and could possible do something similar. I believe the Twitter API also includes a method to find out what tweets are in-reply-to other tweets, so there should be a way to grab entire threads of tweets that correspond to FriendFeed items and apply them as comments for those items.

Obviously, this is mostly speculation, but if we don’t attempt to do what might seem impossible,  all this will get boring real quick.