Social Media is a big thing in today’s societies. Businesses. Companies. Friends and Family. Even Game Developers get in contact with everyone they wish to by means of Social Media. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen new Game Articles that are based off information that was conveyed to gamers from developers from sites like Facebook, Twitter, and more. It’s becoming a very crucial part of the gaming industry. As such, it makes sense that game systems have applications made for those services.
The PlayStation Vita is no exception to that. Within its own selection of apps, it can open and access the two biggest services, as far as social media is concerned. While it can open anything through its Web Browser, it has its very own apps for the services Facebook, which we previously reviewed. However, there is also an app that allows the Vita to access the Twitter service, which I see much more gaming news being conveyed on.
The PlayStation Vita’s version of Twitter is unique, though. Unless you read descriptions on the PlayStation Network, you just might miss it. While the Vita’s Facebook is just called “Facebook”, the Twitter app is not called “Twitter”. It is actually called “Livetweet”. Here is our official review of LiveTweet for the PlayStation Vita.
Functionality is important for an app, especially a Social Media app. As we mentioned in our review for the Facebook app, there is a constant comparison problem with social media services, both from an app made for it and how well it works in a web browser. Unless the app runs and has a lot of features, people would just ditch the app and run it from their Web Browser. Livetweet has all the basics that you will need for Twitter, though. Here is what it can do.
When you first load up the app and log into your Twitter account, you will be greeted with your News Feed. The News Feed lists each Status Update in the form of Thought Bubbles. It shows the profile’s picture and the Tweet is a thought bubble coming from their avatar, showcasing their Name, Twitter, Tweet, and Time it was posted. Most Tweets are shown completely on the page, but some longer ones can be opened fully by tapping on them, much like clicking does on a PC.
You can Favorite, Retweet, or Comment on a Tweet once you have it open, as you can on the PC, There is also an Insert button when you are commenting or posting a new Tweet that allows you to insert a few things. This will be a hoice between a Photo, Camera (Taking a photo on the spot), a Mention, or a Hashtag.
Aside from the News Feed and Posting, you can also check your different sections, from the News Feed to Connection Posts to your Personal Messages. These are the same sections you can use on the PC, but there are also three other sections. These sections are Lists, which you can use to manage your Lists. There are also Search and Settings options, which allow you to search for people or posts, and manage your Account Settings.
In the Account Settings are a few other features that were missed on the main page. It allows you to access and list your Tweets, Followers, People you Follow, Favorites, Lists, and Mention Posts.
Everything that you need for Twitter is definitely here, though some of it may be a bit harder to find than you would imagine, as the app isn’t set up exactly the same as Twitter apps on, say, smartphones or tablets.
The Interface of the LiveTweet app is fairly simplistic. Unlike Facebook, which had buttons on nearly all borders around the screen, LiveTweet mostly keeps its navigational buttons on the left border of the screen. From the News Feed Screen, aside from being able to tap on individual Tweets, there are buttons Vertical on the Left Side of the screen for you to select. From Top to bottom, they are New Tweet, News Feed, Mentions, Messages, Lists, Search, and Settings.
New Tweet allows you to post a new Tweet. It takes you to an area where you can type out your Tweet, still with the 140 character limit for posts. There, you can also tap to attach either an Image, Camera Photo, Hashtag, or Mention to the post. This is unique in this app. In most apps, you have to type out a hashtag or mention. You can do that here, too, but the Hashtag section allows you to list and choose Hashtags you use often. For example, we frequently use #PSVita in our posts, so we can choose that and just select to insert that into the Tweet. There is a similar menu feature for adding mentions.
News Feed is where you see all of the Tweets made by everyone you follow. You can scroll through them, tap to open them. When you open up a Tweet, you can tap options for Favorite, Retweet, and Comment. As you scroll down the News Feed, older Tweets will automatically load for you, lowering the time you’ll have to wait to go down to previous Tweets you may have missed from the last time you were using Twitter.
Mentions and Messages are what we probably use the most. Mentions brings up something that looks similar to the News Feed, but it only shows activity that concerns you. If anything of yours ever gets favorite, retweeted, or you receive mentions in Tweets or even gain new followers, it will added to this section. The Messages section is also an active section, as it contains all of the Personal Messages that you receive. I have gone in there several times to respond to messages we send or receive from our followers.
Search and Settings are fairly minor areas, but still important. Search allows you to search for something, whether it be a Twitter profile, Tweet, certain category/hashtag, or something else. If you ever wonder if a certain developer has a Twitter account, typing their name into this area will likely answer that curiosity of yours.
Settings is partial with the app. When you open it, you see your avatar, description, link, and buttons for various features. These features are Followers, Following, Tweets, Favorites, Lists, and Mentions. But, you cannot actually modify your profile settings in the app. When you tap on your settings, you will be re-directed to the PlayStation Vita’s web browser. Like Facebook, settings can only be modified from within a web browser.
If there is one factor that is one of the most important with a PlayStation Vita app, it is performance. If you recall, PlayStation Mobile apps have a very long Load Time. PlayStation Vita apps, however, are a little better at that than PlayStation Mobile. LiveTweet doesn’t have a really long load time like PlayStation Mobile apps do. Loading up LiveTweet is very similar to the Facebook app. From starting it to being able to check your Tweets normally takes about 5-7 seconds. A little quicker than the Facebook App but similar.
One big plus about the performance of this app is that it doesn’t register, on the Vita, like an active game. If you’re in the middle of a game and go to check the LiveTweet app, it does not require you to close the game you’re playing to check it. If you check apps like Facebook, however, it does require you to close your game, which is an inconvenience. LiveTweet is very nice and convenient, in this regard.
A couple things that are both pluses and minuses, though are adding Hashtags and Mentions to Tweets. It is really nice for it to be able to just list your most-used Hashtags and your followers for posts, but the latter becomes a pain at one point. Let’s say you are following 200 users and the user you want to mention in a post was the first person you followed on Twitter. Now, you either type it out, or scroll through all 200 of your users to get there. The list shows them in terms of how recent you started to follow them.
Updating your lists or posting Tweets or comments run pretty quickly. When posting a new Tweet, I did not have to wait more than a few seconds for that post to appear on the Timeline or News Feed. It runs and synchs with the Twitter site and server very easily, and runs very smooth when you’re using it. Fluidity and the flow of moving through the app and learning the interface is quite easy, though you do have to scroll through the options on the site to get to your Settings or Search. They cannot all fit on the screen at once.
All in all, LiveTweet has everything a Twitter app needs to be useful and convenient. There are a few things that can get annoying when posting and putting in mentions, but for the most part, this is a very solid app that any Twitter and Vita user should have installed on their Vita at all times.
The PlayStation Vita Review Network Rates LiveTweet a 9/10.