Seesmic makes Twitter pretty, with Look

Now you can consume Twitter without contributing, or even logging in.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
2 min read

Seesmic, which makes Twitter and Facebook apps for AIR, Windows, and mobile platforms, on Thursday is launching Seesmic Look, a new product designed for the Twitter watcher much more than the Twitter contributor or participant. The app lets you scan the feeds of popular Twitter celebrities, or show feeds for specific topics, like the NFL or Wall Street business. It can display tweets as they come in, or it can go into "playback" mode to let you catch up on what you missed.

Red Bull sponsors this sports page, part of a Seesmic-run category list. Seesmic

Look is a pretty, touch-enabled app. Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur says Look is optimized for a touch interface, "and therefore, tablets." Look is a Windows app now, but Seesmic will presumably port it to a Mac slate as soon as possible.

Le Meur believes that Look will help bring Twitter to a wider audience by making it easier to view Twitter streams. It's a smart move, considering that most Twitter users watch but don't tweet. Le Meur also thinks a Twitter-watching audience will be attractive to advertisers and sponsors.

A big part of the Look pitch is that you don't have to log in to Twitter to use it, reinforcing the point that it's designed for lurkers. It's a lean-back TV-watching experience for what most geeks think of as a highly participatory platform. But Look doesn't do a anything that Twitter.com does not do itself. It won't show you tweets that you wouldn't seen on a Twitter client like Seesmic or Tweetdeck. It's just a more approachable way to watch the Twitter world go by, without being reminded that you're not actually contributing.

Seesmic has its own categorized list of recommended accounts to follow in Look, and the company is also offering special channels to paid brand partners, like Red Bull. There's a search function, if you want to track a topic that's not in the category list.

If you do log in to Twitter on Look, you can also contribute to Twitter from it, even though it's clear that that app isn't designed for power users. If you're already a Twitter junkie, you'll be better-served by Seesmic Desktop or its competitors.

If you log in to your Twitter account, you can do things like post items and see your lists. Seesmic