Your tweets will probably not become hot tech blog fodder like Marc Andreeson’s (@pmarca) almost inevitably do. But if you’re someone who has a lot of stuff to say on Twitter, but the 140 character limit keeps damming your flow, then maybe WriteRack is the app you’re looking for?
The “tweetstorm” is an emergent behaviour on Twitter which has been around for quite some time — people who follow Tomi Ahonen are familiar with his mobile industry “tweetfloods” which can be pretty insightful and annoying at the same time.
Tweetstorms however became a real thing when @pmarca joined Twitter early in 2014 and became renowned for tweeting sequential diatribes around topics in venture capital and tech that interested him. Before long, other VCs began to do it too, and it’s becoming quite popular in the global tech and startup community, especially for the people who can’t be bothered to keep blogs or publish to platforms like Medium.
People have been hacking the 140 character limit since Twitter hatched. But unlike services like Twitlonger that truncate tweets and append a link to the whole spiel, WriteRack simply breaks up your thoughts into 130 character chunks. This removes the cognitive burden of trying to get your words to fit neatly into that small space, and lets you really unleash your ideas without fear of truncation.
How WriteRack works is quite straight forward. You can directly copy and paste what you want to Tweetstorm in this box or you can type in directly. WriteRack will automatically format it into a series of tweets and post them one after the other and order it accordingly. After the first 130 characters, any new paragraph creates a new tweet.
WriteRack was created by Oo Nwoye and Opeyemi Obembe’s Fonebase Labs. You will remember them as the creators of Fonenode and Callbase and 1st runners up at the TechCabal Battlefield. Oo says WriteRack is a side project (not a startup) they created to “show their hand” and experiment with Android.
“The core of the app was built over a weekend in San Francisco”, he said.
This was in July, but was “too ugly to promote” at the time, according to him. Last week, they completed a new design for the web version and published the native Android app to the Google Play Store.
Fonebase isn’t the only one with a tweetstorm solution though. In June, Sumukh Sridhara tweeted about Tweetstorm.io, a web app he had built to view and create tweetstorms. Of course, @pmarca’s were the first he curated. In July, Dave Winer released the very functionalLittle Pork Chop, “the easiest way to tweet a storm”.
WriteRack is however the only tweetstorm solution that is native to mobile.
If you’re wondering what the big deal is about tweetstorming is in the first place, you’re in good company. Tweetstorming is by no means mainstream Twitter behavior, and isn’t likely to become so, despite calls from influential early adoptors for Twitter to officially adopt the format. Hashtags and retweets were emergent user behaviour that Twitter didn’t invent but adopted. But tweetstorms, an activity that at best 0.00001 of the userbase engage in, but is often annoying to the remaining 99.99999 percent is nowhere near that level.
As for WriteRack, Oo’s ambitions are modest.
“Hopefully this will be a replacement for Tweet longer which removes a lot of content from Twitter and is bad for it”.