Use Bonfire.im To IM Chat With Your Online Twitter Friends

Move over MSN and AOL, there’s a new IM in town.

Bonfire.im was just launched today, and already it’s seeing a lot of media buzz. This new Twitter app lets you see which of your Twitter friends is online now, and sets up an IM-style chat with them.

This means you no longer have to send clunky DMs back and forth when you want to have a private chat with a fellow Twitter user – you can message them on Twitter.com just like you would using a traditional IM service.

Created by Josh Russell (@joshr) and Jay Caines-Gooby (@jaygooby), Bonfire.im is a new Twitter-integrated technology that connects you to your Twitter friends that are online right at this moment.

The plugin is available for Chrome and Safari, and once installed works within Twitter.com.
After downloading the plugin, you must authorize Bonfire.im once to access your Twitter account. Then, just log in.

From there, you can chat with all of your friends in an IM-style window at the bottom of your Twitter screen. In order to chat with someone, you must both have Bonfire.im and you must both be following each other (just like with Direct Messages).

Then, it’s chat time! Whenever one of your friends is online, you can chat live with them as opposed to cluttering up your timelines with dozens of @replies or filling up your DM inbox.

There’s potential for this little app to be used by anyone looking to do live chatting on Twitter: businesses doing customer support, celebrities doing a Q&A or even those hosting Twitter chats. However, it does take away from the core of what makes Twitter so great: the archives. Any chats done on Bonfire.im will, I presume, be between only the participants and will not be searchable or indexed via hashtag.

Will you give it a test run? Let us know in the comments below.

(Hat Tip: TechCrunch, Image courtesy of Lasse Kristensen via Shutterstock)