Birdbrain

Birdbrain is a simple little app which allows you to track changes on one or more Twitter accounts. Its primary focus is on how many followers you gain and lose over time. It does this by periodically taking a snapshot of your Twitter account and showing you the changes. This means that you won’t see any stats when you first get the app, but after a few days Birdbrain will be able to start reporting statistics on followers, posts, and more!

The first thing you’ll notice about Birdbrain is its beautiful, inviting design. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it’s very easy to pick up and start using right away.

The aptly named Summary tab in Birdbrain is where you’ll likely spend most of your time. From here you can see your current Twitter stats which include the number of people you follow, how many followers you have, number of updates, number of mentions, and how many people you’ve blocked. But all the fun starts when you start viewing these stats over time!

Swiping right to left in the Summary tab shows a snapshot of your Twitter account 24 hours ago. If anything’s changed, you’ll see it indicated to the right of each stat. Increases are designated by a ‘+’ and colored blue; decreases are designated by a ‘-’ and colored red. Depending on how long you’ve been using Birdbrain, you can see stats going back 24 hours, 7 days, 14 days, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and even a whole 6 months!

    

Birdbrain’s Summary view

The “Followers” tab shows you a list of your followers over time since you’ve started using Birdbrain. When somebody starts following you, they’re listed with a blue ‘+’ under the date and time that Birdbrain first noticed them following you. People who stop following you work the same way and can be seen with a red ‘-’. One thing I feel this list is missing is a search feature. After a while you can accumulate quite a few users and you may want to find someone in particular. It’s not a big deal, but it is something I’d like to see in a future update.

Tapping any user or searching for them manually under “More” shows a beautifully simple little summary page for that person. You can see whether you follow them, if they follow you, if their account is protected, and if you’ve blocked them. You also get to see how many people they follow, how many followers they have, number of times they’ve updated, and when they joined Twitter. Other basic info such as the user’s last tweet and bio is also available. Tapping the gear gives you the option to follow or unfollow, block, or view the person’s timeline using a WebView of their Twitter timeline.

  

Birdbrain’s Followers tab and user summary view

The “Following” and “Blocked” tabs work in a similar fashion to the “Followers” tab.

A recent addition to Birdbrain is the “Mentions” tab. It shows you a list of mentions broken down by day with your ultimate number of mentions listed on the right. This is particularly useful for organizations who receive a lot of retweets.

One feature that I’m surprised isn’t included is tracking of favorites. There are quite a few Twitter users who like to check see how many “favs” their tweets get, myself included, and Birdbrain seems like an app that should track this. I’m hoping it’ll come in a later update, but for now there’s no way to see when a tweet has been favorited using Birdbrain.

For the most part, Birdbrain has been a joy to use. The only major issue I’ve ever run into was when Birdbrain suddenly freaked out and showed that I had lost all of my followers. It turned out to be a Twitter-wide issue and was fixed by an update to the app itself. Following the incident the developer noted that this can occasionally happen if the Twitter API reports bad info. If it does happen, a relaunch usually clears things up.

Lastly, newcomers to the app should be aware that Birdbrain can only track changes between refreshes. This means that if someone starts following you and then unfollows you before Birdbrain checks your Twitter stats, it won’t see that change. However, for the most part this is just fine. Check it once a day, or once a week. You’ll still get statistics that reflect your general Twitter trends.

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