Plurk is a Twitter clone that offers a wealth of features. Much like “better than Windows” operating systems or “better than Internet Explorer” browsers, Plurk has never managed to surpass Twitter.
In November 2009, Microsoft launched its own microblogging platform in China, featuring an exact copy of the Plurk layout.
1. @User Reply
Plurk users with a 40+ Karma can change their display name. To make an @user reply, however, you need to know the original username. Previously this required either knowing or looking it up. Now the name can be added automatically.
Scroll over the user comment you wish to reply to and a little menu will appear to the right. Click on the little speech bubble with the red cross to insert the @user code into your responses. VoilÃ !
2. Like Conversations
One of the main points that sets Plurk apart from Twitter is conversations. Users can reply to each message and rather than being lost within chronicle updates, replies are kept together within a threaded conversation. All replies to all plurks of people you are following are displayed in the bottom right and can be viewed by category, i.e. all plurks, my plurks, private, and responded.
Previously, you would only get updates of plurks that were either yours, private, or ones that you had responded to. Now you can also like a conversation and subsequently follow its replies. Simply click > like in the bottom right of the plurk. The number in the top right by the way indicates the number of replies. So if there are too many comments coming in, just hit > mute.
3. New Badges
Besides Karma, Plurk rewards active users with badges. Recently, a number of new badges were added to the list, including profile views, membership time, number of plurks and replies, Karma 100 club, and many, many more.
4. Improved Search
This was added quite a while back, but it’s still worth mentioning. Users can now search conversations and view the hottest links, most plurked videos, and Plurk trends by location and time frame (daily or hourly). Unfortunately, locations are limited to Indonesia, China, Philippines, and Global.
Of course you can continue to search for people on Plurk. Sadly, this is not integrated into the Search tab. You will find a link to the People Search below the search field or in the bottom right of the page.
5. Daily Photo
Of course you could previously upload and add pictures. But Plurk now offers an improved service. You can upload a photo or – and that’s new – take it straight from your webcam. You can either select to > share a “photo” or “webcam photo” from the “action” menu…
…but you can also be lazy and just use the new tab. After uploading an image, you can of course add text to your plurk before you post it.
With the “Daily Photo” Plurk is setting the stage for microphotoblogging.
Is There More?
Of course there is more! Let me just quickly mention two more things.
When you hover the mouse cursor over your Karma, a window will pop up revealing your Karma trend of the past couple of days.
Developers will love to hear that Plurk has recently released its API platform. So whatever feature you think is lacking, you can now go ahead and create it.
What is your experience with Plurk?