The long awaited Buffer’s Respond App is finally here and I had the opportunity to check it side by side with our Twitter App during its Beta release. Whilst both offers similar core functionality, the intentions of usage is drastically different.
Our Twitter App forms part of the unified customer and supplier communications. It does not matter where you communicate with your suppliers and customers. We can unify every channel you use, provided we can access the data. On UnifiedVU Platform, we display communications on multiple channels against contacts in your CRM.
The Story of Respondly
In December 2015, Respondly was acquired by Buffer and renamed Respond. Joel Gascoigne blogged about its acquisition. Unlike our Twitter App, Respond gives Buffer an entry point into customer support market. It won’t be too long when Respond starts taking market share from incumbents such as Zendesk. Respond is aimed at teams to close many twitter based enquiries as possible. Once they achieve initial traction, I bet they will continue to expand into other channels and eventually offer a ticketing solution.
Whilst my initial prediction of Buffer was wrong (I told it would never work), my prediction is that Respond allows Buffer to expand beyond Twitter and create a product that could last, and out perform Buffer’s core business today. It is the start of the first apps as Buffer march over $100 m valuation, perhaps towards $1bn.
The Story of UnifiedVU Twitter App
Ironically, our app was inspired by Respondly well before it was acquired by Buffer. As a prolific user of Twitter, I was looking for an application that could display my previous tweets against a contact. The closest I found was Respondly. This inspired us to develop our Twitter App.
My limited tests have shown that both Respond and our own Twitter App fail to display all your tweets with a particular contact. In Respond’s case, this is an easier problem to sholve as they start to store your tweets. In our case, this is harder as we do not store data and read from Twitter API every time you use Twitter App on UnifiedVU Platform. We are working hard to reduce this issue as much as possible.