SocialBro is a free Twitter analysis tool with oodles of potential.
The only problem with saying SocialBro has loads of potential, however, is the implicit suggestion that it hasn't quite managed to realize it yet. That's unfortunately true for SocialBro. The idea is fascinating, and the information it offers is both informative and entertaining, but there are some major holes, meaning that although it's good, it's nowhere near great.
For a start, SocialBro is very easy to set up - a simple username and password and you're in. You'll have to give it your
SocialBro offers you a lot of information, but there are filters and viewing options that will make it a little easier to absorb. Across the top bar, you also have Tools, other reporting and monitoring utilities that will allow you to keep a very close eye on your Twitterverse. Here you can do things as varied as monitoring a hashtag to generating reports that will tell you the best time to tweet, discover new users or analyze your competitors.
SocialBro is unstable - really unstable. Not only does the application itself advise you to move to an alternative platform, but the Air-based interface feels really flaky. Depending on the size of your community, syncing can also be a time-consuming process, and if you also want influence data, it will require a second sync. SocialBro didn't seem that great on picking up on recent changes either, and by recent, we mean in the last month or more!
Even though we loved the idea of SocialBro, it just doesn't seem that reliable. For example, the app doesn't explain many of the filters it offers, so even though you can sort by Friends and Influence, for example, it doesn't explain what they are. Add that to the infuriating slider bars for tweaking the filters, and it all feels a little frustrating.
The bottom line
We wanted to like SocialBro, but a myriad of problems with the app makes it hard. It admits that this desktop version is unstable, however, and perhaps many of its problems are down to this. Regardless, it has oodles of potential, and, for the experienced user, can already be used to extract useful data. We'll be keeping an eye on SocialBro in the hopes that it ups its game. In the meantime, power users can take a look, but we don't recommend this particular Twitter tool for casual or inexperienced users.