It has been around for a while now (I first wrote about it almost two years ago) but no Twitter app has perhaps innovated as much and yet been damned with as faint praise as Feel On! And this is indeed a pity because Feel On! adds a dash of fun to a social network that is often noted for vitriolic and heated exchanges. Initially only for Android, the app has since also made its appearance on the iTunes App Store, although in a rather stilted version which keeps poking the user for in-app purchases. Our advice at the very outset would be to recommend this to Android users rather than iOS ones – the Android one is free and comes with no restrictions.
In most regards, Feel On! acts like a typical Twitter app – you can see tweets of those you follow, track mentions, send direct messages, retweet and quote tweets, and of course, compose your own tweets and so on. Where, however, the app throws a spin into the 140 character social network is in its ability to add cartoons or ‘Cimmonkun’ as the developers call them to every tweet. So every tweet on your timeline will be accompanied by a cartoon figure that reflects the sentiments of the tweet using the developers’ ‘Social Emotion Engine.’ Cutting the jargon, this means that the cartoon accompanying a tweet will seem to illustrate the tweet: a tweet about being happy will have a figure dancing in delight, one that is philosophical could have a figure that is lost in thought, and so on and so forth. You can also add cartoons to your own tweets.
Sounds childish? Well, we must confess that we found it so entertaining that we kept going back to it just to check out the Cimmonkun accompanying different tweets, even when they got it wrong ( we think that the cartoons respond to certain words so sarcasm can get misrepresented, but the results will still make you smile). It somehow seemed a whole lot better than viewing text. And if you are feeling serious, you can turn the toons off by just shaking your phone (another shake brings them back) – the app is a decent enough Twitter app even without them.
Yes, it takes time to load – you will need to be patient for the relevant cartoons to come up even after the text has appeared (until then you have to make do with a Cimmonkun staring at an hourglass – the eternal “loading” gesture!) – and yes, it does not always get the right cartoon with the right tweet. But what Feel On! does is make Twitter a much more entertaining experience than any app we have seen. Seeing a cartoon can even take the edge off a remark that would have otherwise annoyed you. And in the cynical, rude world that Twitter tends to become so often these days, that surely counts for something.