UPDATE: A few more thoughts added in.
Over at I, Platform, Eric Rice looks to have decided that it’s a Twitter-killer, especially given Twitter’s sluggish release cycle and recent stability issues. So has Stan Schroeder at FranticIndusties.
I’m not convinced. Sure, Pownce offers some additional features over Twitter, but it feels underdone to me – almost as if the Megatechtronium folks decided that it was feature-complete enough to release into the wild and did so. Fair call – it’s a good app and ready for public testing from what I can see. Release early-release often, I say!
It also feels a little crowded with functionality to me, as if the team couldn’t say no to the ideas they came up with. Maybe they should have (re)read Getting Real before they started.
That said, there are some key features missing – in particular an open API and feeds are critical for Web 2.0 apps these days and they’re noticeably absent in Pownce.
As for the ads, so far they’re small and unobtrusive (I’ve only seen one, for Zooomr. I didn’t click.). I just don’t see people going for the Pro model, so there’s no ticket-clip happening there. Unless the ads are super compelling (is that possible?). I just don’t see the need to pay $20 to avoid ads. Also, I’m not going to send files to people via an IM/web tool, 100Mb capacity or not. It’s too slow.
A more “let’s be friends” view is offered by Pixelspread. At the moment, I’m more in this camp. I’m deeply invested personally in terms of contacts at Twitter and don’t relish the rebuilding I’d need to do if I jumped ship.
Also, Twitter has been a world more stable (at least for me) the past couple of weeks. I haven’t noticed any significant dead spots. YMMV.
If there was no Twitter, Pownce would be a compelling choice. But Twitter is there, and it has established a place in the market.
Ultimately, I really don’t see a need to choose between the two. Twitter is about those quick messages and Pownce seems targeted a little higher – somewhere between Twitter and lifestream blogging. There’s almost certainly a useful sweet spot there. I plan to persist with both and see where my travels take me. At the moment, I’m actually inclined to stick with Twitter for most of the sort of messaging both Pownce and Twitter do.
What are your thoughts? Twitter or Pownce? And is there as sweet spot in your social computing where both are useful?