Show off any search on Twitter from your TV screen. Visible Tweets is a web app that offers large, crisp text, quick search and beautiful animations, and is perfect for displaying tweets from across the room. Maybe you want to show off tweets about your business, at your business. Maybe you want to passively keep up with a certain topic. Or maybe you just enjoy seeing live information in the comfort of your own home.
Whatever your reason for wanting to put Twitter onto the big screen, Visible Tweets is a great tool for the job. In my opinion this is particularly interesting for business owners, because feedback is displayed publicly in real-time. It points out to people that you’re active on Twitter, and gives customers a reason to interact with you. There are risks, sure – someone could tweet nasty things just to see them on a screen – but if you’re okay with that, this service is worth checking out.
Using Visual Tweets
Getting started couldn’t be easier. Just head over to VisibleTweets and search for something. If you want to see tweets about a particular subject, search for a hashtag. If you want to see tweets people are sending to a particular account, type that username. You get the idea.
Once you search, the animation begins immediately, showing all recent tweets that fall under your search. Here’s my search for “@makeuseof“, showing every mention of the site on Twitter:
You can use this for many different things. A sports bar could use the hashtag of a particular team during a sporting event or a newstand could display searches for current events. Or you could just search for your business’ own Twitter account and show off the nice things people are saying about you (assuming people generally have nice things to say, of course).
If you’re not a business, this could be a passive way to keep up with a particular topic, especially if you have a dual-screen monitor setup.
These are just ideas; the fun is playing with it and seeing what uses you can come up with. Not satisfied with the search results you’re getting? You can fine-tune the search a great deal, using Twitter’s many operators. Here’s a screencap from Twitter itself outlining what they are:
These search operators are by no means unique. Most also work in Google. But knowing them really allows you to fine-tune the results you get. Play around until you like what you see.
Of course, simply showing off tweets is cool but not quite enough. Where Visible Tweets really shines is the animations. There are three options:
You’ll have to play with the different animations to determine which you like best, but I’m a big fan of Rotation.
I’d like to thank the good folks at Full Circle Magazine in general and Charles McColm in particular. In Issue 62 he outlined how to transform an old computer into a Twitter display appliance using Visible Tweets and Ubuntu. With his instructions you can turn on a computer and quickly see nothing but tweets related to your search. download issue 62 of Full Circle if you’re interested.
Oh, and you can embed Visible Tweets in PowerPoint presentations, which makes for a great opening slide to show before you start speaking.
Do you know of a better tool for displaying tweets on a television? Let me know in the comments below, along with any uses you’ve found for this particular web app. I look forward to hearing from you.