Quick Review: Birdbrain — Statistics for Twitter

Birdbrain iconI know what you’re thinking. There’s a certain sense of vanity or narcissism that comes with the territory of using an app to track Twitter statistics, and while Birdbrain can be used for those purposes, I use it mostly out of curiosity rather than anything else. At its core, Birdbrain is an app for tracking Twitter statistics. It’s been around for a while now, and while it hasn’t always been the fastest app to get updates, the recent update redesigned for iOS 7 is worth looking at.

Of course, Birdbrain gives you basic information like your following and follower counts, tweets, mentions, retweets, and how many users you’ve blocked. But the real power of Birdbrain lies in its ability to give you those numbers over time — as you use the app, it updates those numbers so you can get a feel for how your numbers change over weeks or months.

The update presents those same statistics in a variety of new ways, including graphs for the first time to give you a visual representation of your following and follower counts, as well as other metrics such as your number of tweets, retweets, and mentions. Initially I thought the time periods represented in the graphs were too spread out, but upon further consideration I realise they’re just fine.

iPhone

The improvements to the main statistics screens are also appreciated. The update now lets you see either the numbers as their actual values, or expressed as positive or negative changes compared to your current. To be fair, the previous version gave you the same information without requiring a tap to change between the modes, but on the other hand, the new format is now much clearer about what you’re currently looking at.

iPhone2

Since Birdbrain tracks your following and follower counts, it can also be used to track when people follow (or unfollow, for that matter) you. That may be a little controversial since it means you can keep track of when people (un)follow you, but depending on your own usage of Twitter this may not matter. Twitter followers come and go all the time, after all.

Birdbrain isn’t a traditional client in that there’s no way to view your own Twitter stream, or a way to even write and post Tweets. But you can do practically everything else, including following/unfollowing users, viewing a user’s timeline, and their Favstar.fm and Twitpic profiles.

Overall, Birdbrain is a great app I’ve been using for a long time. Again, not because I’m particularly narcissistic or anything, but because I’m fascinated by the ability to see changes in my Twitter account. It has potential business applications too, if you need to track the statistics of your corporate Twitter account (Twitter do have official tools to do similar things, but I’ve never had the opportunity to use them, so I can’t say how they compare). It’s a really nice app that also turns out to be useful tool for managing Twitter accounts, and it’s $3.79 on the Australian App Store.

Further reading about Birdbrain 3.0 over at MacStories.

Start the discussion at talk.appletalk.com.au