Monday, May 12, 2014

Gather Your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube Feeds In One Place

How To Gather Your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube Feeds In One Place

By Mihir Patkar
Why open four tabs for different social networks when you can get all that information in one place? Feedient brings together your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube feeds into a single page so that you can see it all in one glance, no tab-switching necessary.
There are two important points to note here though. First, Feedient is currently inopen beta. Everyone is free to start using it, but there might be some bugs and a few features might be added later.
Second, Feedient isn’t meant for a power user on any network. Its purpose is to be a dashboard and allow for small interactions. It isn’t meant to replace your preferred social networking client.

What Is Feedient All About?

Feedient Full Feed   How To Gather Your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube Feeds In One Place
To illustrate that point, Twitter is a good example. Feedient looks a lot likeTweetDeck, the power user’s online Twitter client. It has a series of columns with different feeds for you to read through. Where it differs from Tweetdeck is in the content of those columns.
TweetDeck will give you things to do with Twitter, like a column for your Mentions, another for your Direct Messages, another for Lists, and so on. On the other hand, Feedient will give you just one column for Twitter, and that’s your main timeline. The other columns are meant for other social networks: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Feedient Lightbox   How To Gather Your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube Feeds In One Place
Adding the accounts is a simple process, and you can add two of the same service too. After that, Feedient will lay them out next to each other in a beautiful set of columns. You can expand any message to see comments or other details, and you can click on media like photos and videos to open up a lightbox for embedded viewing.

Two Things That Make Feedient A Winner

Feedient Move Columns   How To Gather Your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube Feeds In One Place
Design is an important part of any app. Good design makes you want to come back and use the app even if the functionality isn’t everything you want. Bad design will put you off even if it offers more functionality. Feedient is all about reading massive amounts of information and it helps with a spaced-out layout that’s easy on the eyes.
Even though you are looking at four streams of social networks, it never feels overwhelming with Feedient. Plus, you can change the columns around as you like them. I have tried other solutions (like the all-feeds-in-one-place Chrome app —OneFeed) and never came close to the experience with Feedient.
The other thing that makes Feedient a service worth signing up for is that it’s free. Nope, no free with an asterisk, it’s just completely free for you to use.

Why Feedient Is Not For Power Users

While it’s a fantastic stream of your social feeds, that’s all it is. Feedient is great for the casual user or someone who needs a dashboard, but if you are really into any one of those networks, it’s not going to hold up to the original websites or apps.
Interactions, for instance, are limited. On Twitter, you can hit Retweet and Favorite, as well as reply. On Facebook and Instagram, you can Like and Comment. But weirdly, YouTube does not offer any interaction, not even a thumbs up or down.
Plus, where are the mentions and direct messages and lists on Twitter? How do I see my own profile on Facebook and get personal messages?
Feedient Compose   How To Gather Your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube Feeds In One Place
Another biggest miss is in updating posts. It might have a great lightbox to view media, but you can’t upload photos or anything else. It also doesn’t auto-shorten links, for some reason. What this means is that your comments and original posts made from Feedient can be text-only, which takes YouTube and Instagram entirely out of the picture and restricts your Facebook and Twitter severely — especially the latter, since an unshortened link eats into the character count.
And finally, it doesn’t have search. The lesser said about that, the better, but no power user is going to use a service like this without a search box.

A Great Social Dashboard, But For Casual Users

It’s clear that Feedient is meant only for casual users. I initially thought that it would be useful for a power user too, as a way to see all the feeds together, but that’s not the case. As a Twitter power user, Feedient is not a tool I would use to check my timeline or anything else on Twitter.
Feedient Expand   How To Gather Your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube Feeds In One Place
However, it does have use for me as a casual Facebook, Instagram and YouTube user. I find that this one page for three social networks is all I want, to know what’s happening with the users and channels I follow there. You can also use RSS notifications to keep up with social networks, but I find Feedient to be a better option because it allows for some interactions, however basic—that’s not something you get from RSS.
I’ve unlinked my Twitter from Feedient now, and I’d suggest you do the same for whichever social network you use most often. For any two or more social networks that you use casually, Feedient is great.
How do you see yourself using Feedient? Does it save you the bother of switching from one social media to another?

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