June 18, 2008

twitAbit Debuts as New Service to Escape Twitter Downtime

Many Twitter users have a love/hate relationship with the service. They love what it does, helping people communicate in real time, from the Web or their mobile phones, but they hate that it hasn't scaled to meet demand. In its place, a new crop of services is rising to work around the downtime. The latest, debuting today, is called twitAbit, which leverages store and forward capabilities to ensure that Twitter fail doesn't ensure your own fail.

The Twitter "fail whale" is well known and a great number of users are looking for a way out. Some have left Twitter. Some are just using it less. Others have moved on, to Plurk, to FriendFeed, or Pownce. But leaving Twitter comes at a high cost for those who have invested time in building relationships, and in some cases, thousands of followers. Even despite the many outages, the vast majority of Twitter's user base has largely stuck it out, hoping for better times.

But if those better times don't come right away, twitAbit is prepared. The service offers a simple form, asking for your user name and password, what you are doing, and a link. It appears to be a project of betaworks, and was announced on the switchAbit Web site, which RSS and blogging guru Dave Winer announced back in May.

At the time of posting, Winer promised Flickr to Twitter functionality, and a second Twitter application, most likely twitAbit, Although it's not 100% clear, he has spoken of a need for a decentralized Twitter, and this could be the first step.

Also: You can see Winer's first "tweet" from twitAbit back on June 13th.