Mixx Turns To Twitter To Start Surfacing Hot Links, Launches TweetMixx (Invites)

Mixx, the Digg-like site that got a total makeover earlier this year, is launching a new site today that takes a different approach to surfacing hot links: Twitter. The site is fittingly called TweetMixx , and it’s currently in private beta. TechCrunch readers can grab one of 1000 invites by going here and using the following credentials: username=techcrunch, password=tweetmixx_beta.

TweetMixx works by skimming through tweets and looking for links. The more times a given link appears on Twitter, the higher placement it gets on TweetMixx. Likewise, you can log-in using your Twitter credentials and receive a personalized hotlist of tweets based only on the Twitter users you follow.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because the idea isn’t a novel one. TweetMixx is facing off with plenty of competition — Tweetmeme has become quite popular, and sites like twitrollr and tweetlinx do very similar things (and we just saw TuneIn launch this month at our RealTime CrunchUp).

But CEO Chris McGill says that there are a few differences that help set TweetMixx apart. For one, the site will figure out the name of the article being linked to, so rather than seeing something like http://www.beta.techcrunch.com/2009/07/24/adwords-gets-more-local/, you’d see the article’s title, “AdWords Gets More Local”. One other feature offered by TweetMixx is a much-improved version of Twitter Search. Using the standard engine offered by Twitter, you can only search through the text of tweets, but not the articles they’re linking to — if someone fails to explain what a link is in their tweet, then it won’t show up in results. Using TweetMixx, you can search through both standard tweet text and the names of the articles that are being linked to, which can turn up many more relevant results.

Mixx’s decision to launch TweetMixx is yet another display of how powerful Twitter can be when it comes to surfacing new content, as it’s often much faster than a Digg-like voting system. The biggest clash is yet to come, though: pretty soon bit.ly, the very popular URL shortener, is going to be launching its own Digg competitor, which is going to have a huge volume of metadata to draw from.