Twitter gets instant message chat with Bonfire app

bonfire-shutterstock

We all know how great Twitter is for real-time breaking news and posting short-winded complaints about life. And, with its direct messages feature and “@” mentions, it can even be used as a fast way to keep in touch with friends. But now, with the help of a new app, tweeps can now use Twitter as an instant message client.

Dubbed Bonfire, this third-party app adds IM-style chat to Twitter.com. The service, downloadable as an extension for Firefox, Chrome or Safari browsers, lets you know which users are online (and also have Bonfire installed), and allows you to chat with Twitter users you follow just as you would chat with Facebook friends using Facebook Chat.

Twitter has had some dicey relationships with third-party app makers in the past, which makes it unclear whether Twitter will allow Bonfire chat to exist, long-term. Fortunately for Bonfire, which just launched today, they have a few things going in their favor. First, Twitter usually only has problems with developers who make apps that are direct Twitter clones, like UberTwitter and the like. Second, Bonfire only works via Twitter.com, which could possibly bring more users directly to the Twitter website, rather than accessing the service through another third-party Twitter client, and get them to spend more time on the site, which could me more ad dollars for Twitter.

At the time of this writing, Bonfire’s servers are overwhelmed with traffic, so it might be difficult to get the app to work right now (about 12:30pm ET). We were able to launch Bonfire earlier today, and it worked exactly as advertised. Once the extension is installed on your browser, and the app approved by you through Twitter, a small Bonfire icon appears in the right-bottom of the screen. Click “Sign in with Twitter,” and you’ll appear online to other Twitter/Bonfire users.

We can already see a few downsides to Twitter-fueled chat. For instance, the people we follow on Twitter aren’t all people we necessarily want to have work-interrupting chats with. (Sorry, but it’s true.) And, on top of that, Twitter is already a high-paced service that defines information overload. Do we really need to open the floodgates any further?

Those of you interested in Bonfire, can download the extension here.

Note: Bonfire appears to be overwhelmed for the time being with a flood of new users. We suggest you wait to install.

Via TechCrunch/Image via J. Helgason/Shutterstock]

Social Media

Instagram test reveals direct messages may be coming to browsers

Instagram for the web has always been a minimalist affair compared to the feature-rich smartphone app, but in the last few years that's started to change. The latest news is that Instagram is considering adding direct messages.
Computing

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Computing

File Transfer Protocol explained: What FTP is and what it does

FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol," and it's used to transfer files online. Most internet users don't need it, but web developers use it constantly. Here's what FTP is, how it works, and how you can get started using it.
Computing

Windows 7 is still immensely popular. Is it really better than Windows 10?

With the end of support of Windows 7 approaching, have you been holding off on upgrading to Windows 10? In this guide, we give look at some of the biggest differences between the most popular operating systems.
Social Media

Twitter boss again teases the idea of a button to edits tweets

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has suggested the company is still looking at options for allowing people to edit tweets. Ideas include a function that gives you up to 30 seconds to recall a tweet before it goes live on the service.
Social Media

‘Instagram egg’ embarks on a new adventure as man behind it is unmasked

The Instagram egg made global headlines recently after it became the most-liked post on the photo-sharing app. The person behind the account has now been revealed, as has his reason for choosing an egg for the stunt.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.
Photography

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.