We just got word of an interesting new microblogging service: Rejaw. Rejaw is an interesting combination of microblogging with real-time chat. In some ways, it is similar to Plurk, but its interface looks a lot more traditional and instead of just alerting you to updates, it pushes them directly onto your screen in real-time. On the client side, Rejaw is taking the unusual route of releasing a Mac client first. A Windows version should follow in the very near future and the team is also planning to release an iPhone app.
Rejaw puts a number of very nifty twists on the microblogging genre. In testing out the service, the immediate updates to the discussions really added a different level of interactivity to the experience. And while most other micro-blogging services put a strong emphasis on keeping messages extremely short, Rejaw allows its users to write up to 1000 characters per message.
Shouts and Whispers
Rejaw differentiates between sending out 'shouts,' which go out to all of your followers as well as the public timeline, and 'whispers,' which are pretty much direct and private messages.
At the bottom of the page, you can always see if there are any new 'shouts' or 'whispers' and clicking on those links will take you directly to the appropriate pages.
As is to be expected, every conversation on Rejaw also gets its own permalink and Rejaw also provides RSS feeds for all conversations.
One very cool aspect of Rejaw is that you can just post links to images (we tested this with jpg and png files), YouTube and Google videos, as well as mp3, and flv files into your posts and they will immediately appear in your timeline. The team behind Rejaw is also responsible for Lingr, which uses the same technology at the back-end.
Right from the start, Rejaw offers an API to developers who want to integrate the service into their own tools.
So how does Rejaw stack up against Twitter and its brethren? In trying out the service for a while this morning, we really enjoyed the immediate interaction with others on the site. We only noticed one minor bug with regards to deleting already posted messages on the site, but otherwise, the service feels extremely well thought out already and we didn't experience any other issues in our tests. We especially liked how easy it was to embed videos, pictures, and audio into the posts and comments.