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Free and Open Source Twitter Wall Alternatives

31 March, 2014 by Dag Hendrik Lerdal - 12 comments

Using dedicated twitter hashtags for conferences and events is a relatively new thing – taking all the conference-like events that are carried out each day, all over the world, in consideration. But lately even the not-so tech savvy people at academic conferences have started using hashtags like #ilovescience.

Slidedogtweethead

My own feeling is that hashtags are everywhere, and I do mean everywhere!
For an event organizer this is a good thing, because it means that you don’t have to lecture your attendees on how to use them at your event.

For those of you who don’t know what a twitter hashtag is (no shame in that) and why you should use them at your events, here’s a quick rundown:

  • The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.
  • By including a unique event hashtag in your promotions, commentary, and post-event thank yous, you’re not only pulling a conversation together, but you’re also making it easy for people to find photos and attendee interactions.

Informing your attendees of the event hashtag (pick it wisely) before and during the event is very important. You want to get the discussion going as early as possible.
But because a live tweet mainly lives on Twitter you should, as an event planner, do your best to integrate those valuable conversations into your event programme. And that’s where a Twitter Wall comes handy. It helps you to bring the tweets to the awareness of all your attendees by displaying them on a big screen during speeches and on info-screens during breaks.

There are many Twitter Wall alternatives out there. Some of them are completeley free and even open source. If you got the programming skills you can completely tailor the twitter wall to your event. The biggest drawback with the free alternatives is that they often lack the ability to moderate tweets. In general I don’t think you should moderate, and the censoring effect will be limited to your wall only (people will still be able to see the moderated tweet on their own phones/laptops/etc.). But in some cases I can see why it would be useful. Preventing some really nasty comments, for instance.

If you really care about moderation of tweets you can check out some of the paid alternatives like TweetWall or TweetWallPro.

But if you’re open minded, check out this list of the top free and open source alternatives:

Twitter Fontana

twitter-fontana
An open-source alternative for those flash based Twitter fountains, built using HTML5, CSS (SASS) and Javascript.

Website: http://twitterfontana.com/
Source Code: https://github.com/EightMedia/TwitterFontana

Twitter Fontana looks good and has a variety of animations to choose from, but lacks in customization. Settings for transition speed and number of tweets on screen would’ve been nice. On the bright side you can fork the repository on github and create your own personal Twitter Fontana just the way you want it.

Twitterwall by Remy

remytwitterwall
A conference twitter wall with built in schedule & announcements

Source Code: https://github.com/remy/twitterwall

Twitterwall by Remy is just a source code repository and not a hosted solution like the others. This is for the event hacker who wants a starting point for creating their own wall. If you’re not a programmer you can still get it up and running using the default settings, but it will take some effort. However, the layout of the wall looks really nice and you can use it both as a twitter wall and screen for scheduled announcements and sponsor logos.

Twitterfall

tweetfall
Twitterfall is a Twitter client specialising in real-time tweet searches. New tweets fall into the page.

Website: http://twitterfall.com/

Twitter Fall is a great choice if you want something basic, free and without much branding. It has better customization options than the others mentioned here and can show a lot of simultaneous tweets. Twitter Fall is not only a twitter wall, but also a twitter client that you can use to post new tweets from.

Visible Tweets

VisibleTweets
Visible Tweets is a visualisation of Twitter messages designed for display in public spaces.

Website: http://visibletweets.com/

Visible Tweets is the only flash based wall in this list. You can choose from three kinds of animations where “Rotation” is my favorite. The background color of the wall changes as you rotate through the tweets. The public version of Visible Tweets is limited by Twitter’s data restrictions. Meaning it only fetches new tweets every 5 minutes. A very good thing about Visible Tweets is that it has no branding at all in fullscreen mode.

My naughty trick to getting rid of Twitter Wall branding messages

Since you’ve taken the time to scroll through this whole list, I’m going to tell you a dirty little secret that you can use to remove the branding from the HTML5 based Twitter walls in this list:

If you have FireFox or Chrome installed you can right click on the branding, select Inspect Element and then press “Delete” on your keyboard.

If you do this correctly you should be able to use Twitter Fontana or Twitter Fall without displaying their logos and branding text. As long as you give something back to the developers like donating a couple of Pounds(TwitterFall) or Bitcoins(Twitter Fontana) or sharing their work, I think they’d be cool with that.

  • Pindle

    You might want to check http://www.getpindle.com too. It makes tweets look really cool.

  • James McAllan

    Hi Dag,
    That’s a great list of free Tweet Walls, thanks for compiling it!
    Moderation definitely has it’s place in the corporate and event world but should be used carefully to present all sides of a conversation. Use it to remove the nasty comments and profanity but keep individual opinions.

    If you need to step up to increased branding, filtering or moderation check out Crowd Convergence: http://www.crowdconvergence.com

  • TweetWall Pro

    Thanks for the mention. There are many great free TweetWalls on the market. The features you gain from paid services can also include the integration of gamification features that spark more activity and fun, as well as other special features such as tagging tweets for release when you want them (useful for Q&A sessions), not to mention full post event reports. To see more examples of what can be done visit http://www.tweetwallpro.com

  • merci pour l’info

    emploi.ong-tn.org

  • We just released ShowTweets, a free Twitter Wall visualizer that looks amazing!
    You should check it out: http://www.showtweets.com

  • Pingback: Integrate Social Media With Print Advertising to Boost Your Marketing | PIA/SD()

  • Andrew

    Nice list. Might be worth checking out Tweet Monsters at http://www.tweetmonsters.com. I have been using it for a while and it has enough free features to create a really good twitter wall. It has just had a new update which incorporates Tweet images and Moderation too.

  • sivaram

    We are building new one , if anybody interested just email me at [email protected]

  • I couldn’t find anything for free where I could moderate tweets so only the ones I approved went live on the wall… so I’ve just launched Mod Tweet Wall (https://tweetwall.jake4maths.com) which lets you do all of that for free!

  • Good list, maybe take a look at another Social-wall product at https://www.flypsite.com

  • Edan

    Check out SocialScreen.org. Supports Twitter & Instagram, works instantly for free, allows you to change colors. For $15/month you can add your logo, custom colors and fonts, and moderate posts.

    SocialScreen: http://www.socialscreen.org

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f70a43d93db453e27cfbca10ce4377e2715b60ad06304553c812cc80240c8336.jpg

  • WithCT – With Current Times

    You should definitely take a look at WithCT Social Media Management Dashboard. FREE options available and a wide range of features. http://www.withct.co.za