Microsoft just released Silverlight 3 with a host of impressive new features, and already there's a hot Twitter and Facebook web app using it. Sobees is a web-based version of bDule, a slick desktop app for keeping up to date with your Twitter and Facebook feeds.
First, a quick look at bDule. To use it, you'll need a Windows PC with the latest .NET updates installed. If you're running Windows 7, you don't need to update anything at all. It's a really small client (less than 1MB download) and seems somewhat reminiscent of TweekDeck at first glance. There are actually quite a few layout templates, from a single pane, to vertical panes, horizontal, and combinations of these. In each pane, you simply log into a Twitter account, Facebook account, or create a real-time search pane. If you change to a different layout, you just drag and drop the pieces you want into the new panes.
The functionality is impressive for an Alpha release. You can do all the usual Twitter and Facebook stuff (reply, direct replies, update your status, quickly ReTweet, etc.). It's got nice little touches like character count on the Twitter update, the ability to enter words/phrases to be banned from your timeline as an anti-spam measure, your choice of URL-shortening services, publishing photos to Twitpic or your Facebook profile, etc. The real-time search is especially cool. One search pane can handle several independent searches, scouring Twitter, OneRiot, and FriendFeed for the terms you type in. You can adjust the frequency of searches and maximum returned results. The app docks to your tooltray, pops up alerts (which you can enable/disable per account), you get the idea.
So what's the fancy Silverlight 3-powered web thing? Well, just go to sobees.com and, on your PC or Mac with Silverlight 3 installed, you get the exact same application, with the exact same look and feel as the desktop client. There are a few obvious options missing, like notifications, but the major missing piece right now is Facebook. At the time of this writing, Facebook integration is listed as 'coming soon' for the web service, while it works fine on the bDule desktop app. They're both pretty slick, free, and worth checking out even in their current Alpha state. Moreover, it's a great example of how designers developers can, apparently, build pretty nifty apps with Silverlight 3.