I started using Twitter in early 2007. So not super early, but pretty early. It was magical then. A big conversation between friends with the in jokes, references and stimulation you'd expect. It changed of course, as all things do. As all social networking shifted and became a bit more about promoting yourself and a bit less about being social, then Twitter users turned in this direction too. I noticed it started to feel noisy with a lot of re-tweets and replies to try to foster attention. I followed a person because of what they said, not what they replied to or re-tweeted. I decided to make a version of Twitter that only contained the Tweets that a person said, their actual character - no re-tweets, no replies, no 'noise' as I saw it. So Little Voices was born for iOS users.
I wanted to make it nicer to use than Twitter. I wanted more charm in there, and maybe a bit slicker. After all they had already done all the hard work! I created a side swipe to switch accounts, as if other accounts simply lived in a column each side of what you saw. Best account switching ever. And I added some small visual cute calls to action, and nice animations for loading times, to make the brand feel a bit warmer and more friendly. I suppose Twitter was very early with this one using the fail whale! The application was build by Spectrum data technologies (for reference) a company I had contracted several times while at Fjord.
It's almost more important to know what you're not, as much as what you are. I am not a marketeer. I don't like promoting things. This was partially a benefit as if Little Voices got too popular, Twitter would simply cut my API access, I was after all taking features away. It was an open critique of the current Twitter.
I learned a lot about how organic traffic works, what affect influencers has and how the long tail of those recommendations affected the downloads and traffic. I decided to do no advertising or promotions and see what happened. Thousands of people used Little Voices, some still do.
I have designed several startups from the ground up, but before this my job had never revolved around promoting them or making them successful in the market place. Releasing Little Voices taught me a lot for the upcoming Scarlet work, and I might have done things differently had I created Little Voices after Scarlet.
I had planned to do an update for LV with some fun little features, enabled from data I could scrape, but in reality my love of Twitter declined so steeply that I couldn't bring myself to build it when I was never going to use it.