January 30, 2012

Idea: Add Thsrs to a Twitter App

Back in 2008 I launched Thsrs, an online Thesaurus that only returns synonyms shorter than your search query. It was intended for Twitter users who are having trouble staying under 140 characters. It’s still used frequently by a small group of people — a typical busy day sees a few hundred lookups — and I hear from copy editors who tell me how useful it is when they’re trying to write headlines. But I haven’t really done much with it since the launch.

In the meantime, a lot of Twitter apps have emerged with competing features and styles. But as far as I know, nobody has integrated a similar feature in their product. It would be a great tool to have while you’re actually composing a tweet.

So I’m putting this idea out there for any Twitter client who wants to use it, but I’m specifically looking at you, Tweetbot. Add Thsrs to your app so that while I’m in the middle of writing a tweet, I can just highlight the term, tap “Thsrs…” (or whatever you want to call it in your implementation), and get a list of synonyms shorter than the word I’ve highlighted.

I don’t actually know if the iOS API allows for custom features in the copy/paste/etc popup dialogue. But if it doesn’t, I’m sure you can find some other clever way of integrating it. Maybe a Thsrs button on the compose screen next to all those other gear/tag/camera/etc icons?


YES. This would be incredibly useful.

Would be great. But what about foreign languages implementation?

The iOS API does actually have that ability, and makes it pretty trivial to do.
I for one would love to see this.

Sweet idea. Synonyms dominate! (and rule!)

Joseph is correct. Here’s a couple of screenshots of me using the Instapaper iOS app’s dictionary:



I’d like to know when a twitter app picks this feature up — very nice… and I’m looking at you, itsy ;)

Any word on this? I think it would be great to have such a feature in twitter apps. You ever try to approach Twitter directly about it?

Admittedly, I barely ever used thsrs. I came across it a long time ago, thought it was cool, and bookmarked the page. I’m actually just coming across it again today in a bookmark walk.

But the reason I never used it much is because it’s not convenient. I don’t always tweet from online. It should definitely be a part of an app, or twitter itself.