As much as I can, I try keep tabs on my Twitter timeline, regularly checking in, scrolling through, and sometimes swiping over to the "Discover" tab see what's trending. With north of 350 "friends" in my timeline though, a lot can and does fall through the cracks, especially overnight and on weekends, and even when I'm paying attention, thanks to selective interests (two words: Cat GIF!), it's often all too easy to miss the articles and stories that really mattered to your tweeps, and thus may have really mattered to me. You'd think Twitter might help a brother out and separate what's trending across the entire known universe vs. what's trending amongst the people you actually give a damn about (no, tailored tweets' hashtag soup isn't cutting it for me), but instead they've lobbed that softball over home plate for an app named Nuzzel to hit it out of the park.
Nuzzel is an iPhone and, more recently, iPad app that collects and ranks the stories being shared the most by your friends. Think of Nuzzel as throwing your Twitter into a lake, and then watching all the good stuff bubble back up. Everytime I hit Nuzzel, I've got something good to read, actually, I've got a lot of good stuff to read, and I can tell because I can see at a glance how many and which friends have read the same stuff. If you need to know what the daily Zeitgeist of Twitter is, you can be reliably sure that you'll find it among your top articles in Nuzzel, and that the article found is either the best article on the topic or the first one.
The app is entirely uncomplicated. If you've ever used a news reader or read-it-later service, you can definitely use Nuzzel. Tap into article previews to read them in web or text views, use the share sheet to send the article to your bookmarking or read-it-later service of choice, or just retweet it (by the way, Nuzzel also works with Facebook, but I've thus far refused to do so). Quick pro tip: In the footer area of every article, you can see who and how many of your friends tweeted it. If you tap that area, you can see their actual tweets regarding the article, which may or may not add context, but does allow you to reply, retweet, or favorite their tweet.
Nuzzel offers a number of different feed types, the default is the "News From Your Friends" view that we've been discussing, which can be filtered by particular timeframes and number of friends. A second not-to-be-ignored "News From Friends of Friends" option turns Nuzzel into mind-bending deep dive into the news your friends' friends are reading at the moment that I find utterly fascinating. Other options like "News You May Have Missed" and "Featured Feeds" are less interesting to me, but the one remaining gem, "Friends' Feed", is super interesting, allowing you to dial down "News from Friends of Friends" to one specific and selectable friend, which in my mind amounts to picking up their phone and looking at their Nuzzel. I love this because obviously particular friends have particular interests, and thus their larger pool of friends with similar interests nets results I probably wouldn't see amongst mine. Like Nuzzel in general, it's also a terrific way of, and motivator for, finding new friends.
On the apps' UI and UX
The iPhone and iPad version of Nuzzel are certainly handsome enough apps, but neither would be hurt by some typography improvements, which isn't to say Nuzzel is hard to read, just that I wouldn't mind if it were a slightly sexier read. Both versions of the app, best I can tell, offer the same content and options, but Nuzzel does feel more cozy on the iPad. On the iPad, the extra real estate is put to good use, highlighting the aforementioned "Friends' Feeds" list and allowing for a thumbnail gallery at the top of the app, while the iPhone version is more, "hey, let's get down to business" with your feed dominating the screen. If Nuzzel has any real weaknesses, I guess I just can't think of them. If I had to force myself, I'd say I'm not a huge fan of Nuzzel's usage of a URL shortener when using the app's share sheet, as it looks spammy in tweets and unnecessarily obfuscates an article's original source, but I can hardly fault Nuzzel for wanting to know how users are engaging with the app and its content.
Would it be too much to say that news junkies who love Twitter would be fools for not trying Nuzzel, because I think I'm going to say it, because if there was an "Uber of" Twitter, but just for the good stuff, that would be Nuzzel. Nuzzel is convenient, it's reliable, it's efficient, and it is still your Twitter, no algorithms to guess your interests here, because you already do that when you follow friends on Twitter. I could go on, but you get the idea, I like Nuzzel, it sits on my home screen (the most adorbs icon BTW), and at the clearly fair asking price of free, yes, you'd be a fool to not give it a try.
Nuzzel requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.