It might sound like a hoax, but the buzz is true: Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) has launched his own, branded, Twitter client. Partnering with UberMedia, Kutcher launched A.plus this afternoon. The app is, of course, perfect for fans of the star’s tweets, lists, and a Kutcher-themed Twitter experience, but there are also some pretty interesting features that might make this app useful for those neutral towards Kutcher as well.
The A.plus app shows three basic columns when you launch it: an “Ashton column” on the left, your timeline/mentions/DMs/favorites/lists/saved search in the center (and a very thin column this one is), and – perhaps most interestingly – a “LivePreview” column on the right.
The Ashton column included branded elements from Kutcher himself. You can have a steady stream of his own tweets, or browse the many lists that he’s created, including Apps, Social and Arts lists. These lists are actually branded as UberMeida Channels, a feature the company announced in April. Also in this column is space for square ads.
If you’re not a Kutcher fan, you can minimize this column to appear only as a thin sidebar, and expand the right-hand LivePreview column.
In the center is all of the stuff you’d expect to see in a Twitter client – your @mentions, timeline, lists you follow and the rest of the basics. Nothing fancy here, but it doesn’t leave anything out, nonetheless.
The right-most column is where this app really gets interesting. The app pre-caches links shared by the people you follow, and displays them in the LivePreview section one by one. You can either click on a tweet to display the link within it, or you can flip back and forth through links from within the LivePreview column with the up and down arrows on your keyboard. This is a neat way to view the content that people are sharing on Twitter, and something that might make the A.plus app an attractive option for even those Twitter users who aren’t fans of Kutcher himself.
As mentioned earlier, there is space for some advertisement within this app, currently placed in the Ashton column. While we don’t have details on exactly how this will work, Techcrunch reports that “Kutcher will be able to monetize some parts of the app, and UberMedia will monetize others.”
And if the whole celebrity-endorsed Twitter app thing makes you groan, you’ll want to look away now – TechCrunch also reports that there is plenty more to come:
“UberMedia founder and serial entrepreneur Bill Gross says that the application is the first of many — we’ll be seeing more celebrities and media properties launching branded apps of their own in the future. And there may eventually be a version of the app that isn’t branded. For the time being, though, A.plus is the only application available that has these features.”
Kutcher isn’t the first (or the only) celebrity to slap their face on a Twitter app – 50 Cent created a Twitter client for Blackberry with UberMedia in April.
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