January 12, 2010

Thing Labs Reports Brizzly's Growth Exceeded Targets

With such a wide number of Twitter clients out there, from dedicated Web clients to iPhone or Android applications or still others for desktop operating systems, each that has gained traction has done so thanks to its unique features and innovation, which attract loyal users. Brizzly, a popular Web client which supports multiple accounts for both Facebook and Twitter, has gained traction thanks to inline display of videos and images, a new approach to direct messages, and integrated definitions for trending topics.

As interesting to me as the product itself, among my favorite Twitter apps, is Thing Labs, the team behind Brizzly. The majority of those on the company's small engineering team hail from Google, most visibly headed by CEO Jason Shellen and co-founder Chris Wetherell, who were among the creators and champions for Google Reader, the RSS reader where I spend much of my time online taking on the data firehose. With Jason and Chris turning their attention toward social services, the company has been pleasantly surprised by gaining more users than originally anticipated, and is now working to scale the service without the benefits of a massive organization like the one they enjoyed at Google.

In a candid, yet casual, interview I held with Jason and Chris on Monday at their San Francisco headquarters, the pair walk us through Brizzly and its place within Thing Labs, how they view their product, and how their experience growing Google Reader, and in Jason's case, Blogger, prior to its acquisition by Google, have help set the stage for their new startup's growth. After a series of incremental changes in the last few months, it sounds like Brizzly is heading for some large introductions in the next quarter, probably before the SXSW conference, which will have everyone who has ever looked at the product to revisit it and see what's new. The full interview, about 10 minutes in length, is embedded below:

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