Somebody was asking so I figured I would share a few thoughts:
1. Replies – I freaking hate Twitter @replies. They get lost in the shuffle. There is no threading to them. When you get one and it says “@brandonfuller Of course!”, I don’t know which of my 4,000 updates you are talking about. Brightkite solves this by associating comments with updates. So each update has a comment thread and you get email about that thread. Context. Very simple.
2. Photos – A picture is worth 1,000 words. Twitter doesn’t try to solve this. Others do for them by having sites like Twitpic. Whatever. It isn’t integrated. Brightkite supports messages and photos natively from all interfaces. It will even take that photo and cross-post it to Flickr or Facebook. Oh, and it will geo-tag it too. So you can look at your Flickr map and see photos from all where you have been.
3. Location – The obvious reason. This is the killer app for me. When you are somewhere, anywhere…say a concert…you can pull out the iPhone or whatever other interface to Brightkite you have and post and see what others are posting in that same location. You can start a conversation. I have been offered better seats from a fellow Brightkiter. It is like there is a social club going on and only Brightkiters are included. When we were at Disneyland, people were posting about line lengths or what character was where. You had a digital pulse and personal information feed. I was finding out where people were eating and if it was worth the wait in the area. Plus, you just make new friends. Back to Twitter — no location. Just your friends. That might be fine but you miss out on so many opportunities that are happening right around you. Other apps are trying to solves this but again, its more 3rd party crap and everyone isn’t using it. So your audience is cut short.
4. Twitter – You can have your brightkite messages go to Twitter anyway. So get the benefits above by posting on brightkite and then let it flow to all the other services.
Plus, it is a Colorado-based company! Probably more reasons but those are a few of my favorites.