Today, I opened up Firefox and found the lovely Twitterfox add-on has become “Echofon“, as of 9th October it seems (although officially it happened in September).

The name is not the only bad thing about this change.

Appearance

Screenshot of Echofon

The first major difference I noticed was the skin, which a comment left by Sarah (who seems to have signed up just to leave the comment) on Echofon’s page on the Mozilla add-on site:

Twitterfox used to be a beautiful, simple add-on that easily would have gotten 5 stars out of me. This morning it updated itself to “Echofon”. Despite the name change being awful in itself, their new default skin is just HORRIBLE. It looks rushed, harsh on the eyes, and overall looks utterly rushed, sloppy, and non-user friendly. It’s like they don’t WANT you to look at it.

I have to agree wholeheartedly with that comment.

The new default skin looks to be based on Apple’s skin designs, which makes it look completely out of place in a Windows environment. I like the alternate skin even less.

Unlike Twitterfox, Echofon groups tweets by a user if they have multiple tweets in a row on your timeline. The name and avatar of the user only appears next to their first tweet in the group. This makes it incredibly difficult to scan through tweets quickly, as you have to slow down on groups so you know who wrote all the now nameless tweets.

As for the blank white box next to the “Messages” tab, when you start typing it shows you the number of characters left. It’s a necessary part of the interface, but when in its blank state it looks hugely out of place. Although the bottom of it is lined up with the bottom of the tabs, it doesn’t look that way due to the darker border the tabs have.

Short timeline

A major problem I have noticed with Echofon is that it only displays around 20 tweets in your timeline.

When I logged on today, Echofon informed me that I had 200 new tweets in my timeline, but it only displayed 21 of them (there was a 22nd one, but it was cut off after a few pixels). I’m hoping this will be a side effect of the changeover, but it happening at all shows Echofon is a poor product.

Users don’t seem happy

Aside from the bad reviews Echofon is getting on it’s add-on page, there is a fair amount of tweeting going on about the change. Quite a few don’t like the update.

Tweet by kranium256 'Nooooo .. what have they done to TwitterFox/Echofon? I want the blue back .. i want the blue back !!'

Tweet by muppmupp 'whoa what happened to my twitterfox? It turned into an echofon and looks all different. I'm not sure i like. DO NOT WANT!'

I’ve also seen tweets from people who are confused about the change, which isn’t surprising as there was no notification given about the change.

Tweet by kschap 'I don't really understand why twitterfox is now ALSO echofon. I'm not on a phone/'fon'.'

Tweet by Caldeia 'Hmm ok when did twitterfox become echofon? #lost'

Inevitably, some people do like the change, although less than don’t like it. Personally, I would like to knock some sense into them and show them why Twitterfox was better.

Tweet by fionachu 'WHOA. I approve of Twitterfox/Echofon's new look.'

Tweet by cmorbutt 'likes the new TwitterFox, now known as EchoFon. Looks cool and has little nice touches =)'

Did you use Twitterfox?

If you used Twitterfox, what do you think of the change? Please leave a comment below, I’d really like to hear from you.

Even if you don’t use Twitterfox, do you like the look of Echofon?

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