Skimmer: social management that looks pretty, but not much else

Skimmer is a new Adobe AIR desktop application that allows users to manage social networking accounts through a drop dead gorgeous interface.

Skimmer supports Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flick and Blogger, and includes the ability to view media inline, including videos, and to upload media to the same services.

The pitch reads as follows:

Skimmer is an Adobe AIR desktop application designed to streamline, beautify, and enhance the experience of participating in your most frequently used social networking activities. It improves upon your day-to-day interaction with multiple social networks, removing distractions and providing a rich experience that is particularly suited to multimedia content.

Looks are something Skimmer has in bucket loads; this is possibly one of the most beautiful looking AIR apps I’ve ever played with. But style doesn’t equate to substance, and visual porn doesn’t make it practical. The issues start from the beginning; to use Skimmer you have to register the app (why, we don’t know), and then confirm your various accounts. No matter how hard I tried, it wouldn’t accept Facebook, despite me confirming access with Facebook itself via a popup window. Flickr did work, but only after a couple of goes. Sometime later I accidentally closed Skimmer, and upon reopening it Facebook was working…but then my Twitter stream had disappeared, despite still showing up in the account list.

In use, it doesn’t get any better. You do have a variety of views, and you can shrink Skimmer down to a smaller view similar to most Twitter apps; but when you do shrink it down, you’re limited in features. In full view, you get some tools, but no where near close to Tweetdeck or Twhirl. Videos and images are also slow to load, if they load at all (some times they didn’t for me), so it may deliver them inline, but you could have easily visited the page directly in a quarter of the time.

If you’re looking for a pretty experience and don’t care about speed or extra features, Skimmer wins. For everyone else, don’t bother, at least yet. This is a first release, and it could improve with time.

(via Kineda)