It would appear that I have settled on Hootsuite as my all round social dashboard and Twitter app (Brizzly changed this a little but I’ll go into that some other time). The search was for a desktop/mobile combo and has mainly been between Seesmic, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.
Just to give you a bit of a primer I use Linux as my main desktop so decent native applications can be hard to come by (I prefer web apps for their portability anyway) and I have an Android phone so until the other day that ruled out Tweetdeck. As for seesmic, I didn’t find the web app that exciting.
I’m not going to go into every functionality of Hootsuite, most of which every other Twitter app can do. I’m just going to pass on the things I find it does better than others and the reasons why I make it my number one.
The Mobile App
I know I probably bang on about Android a lot but bare with me for a bit. I’ve spend the last couple of months searching for a Twitter App I was happy with. I think I probably tried about 10. Some were great until you get round to using all the features and realise it’s either missing or performs those functions horribly. Quite a sizable chunk of the desicion was on the aesthetics of the App, I don’t want to spend my time using something that looks horrible or makes me sick. I wont mention the ‘sickening’ ones but the best looking by far would definitely be Seesmic.
The free version of Hootsuite provides me with plenty of functionality, for now. But seeing as I’ve settled on it I might pay for the full version to get the whole package and loose the promoted tweets. It would be great to have acess to Facebook like you do on the desktop version but it’s no deal breaker for me. I don’t even use the desktop version for FB much, only for admin on a couple of pages. So I guess it would be great to update those on the go from inside Hootsuite. Definitely something I’d pay more for.
This is an absolute must for me. Other apps provide settings to keep the timeline position from where you last left it but I found they all returned to the top either after a certain ammount of time of if there were too many tweets. Hootsuite was the only one to remain in place, even after leaving it for the best part of a week. Meaning I would never miss a tweet (not that I’d read a weeks worth of tweeting but its good to have the option.) It is a bit of an obsession reading every tweet, something i will inevitebly loose control of the more people i follow, but hey.
Save & Share Tweets:
This is a feature that I though of as pretty useless at first but now i’m using it all the time. Hootsuite allows you to save tweets then send them to other apps (email etc). I find this really handy in a situation when I have a lot of tweets to read but not so much time to get through them. So I skim through the timeline and when I find something which I think interesting/useful, say a tweet with a link, picture or any information, I save that tweet then carry on through your timeline. When I’m done I email them to myself to sift through later.
On the Desktop
Though this strictly isn’t a desktop application I use the application shortcuts in Chrome to make it feel like it is, and I’ve found it to have much greater functionality and control than most. Here are some examples.
This is a new edition to the desktop version. You simply add your Google Analytics key for your website and you can use it to track the number of visits to your site with an overlay of your number of tweets along with some other data such as traffic sources etc. I’ve found the more I tweet the more visits i get. Makes sense, especially when I’m promoting blog posts! You can use it to track a number of websites (no idea what the limit is) and overlay tweets from any of the Twitter accounts you have. As you can see below.
The mobile app as Ive said is fine but the desktop version is perfect for taking control of your social profiles across the web. They’ve even added WordPress. I haven’t found it useful though as my WP posts are quite laboured, not something I can knock out in one go. It would be perfect for posterous though. I hope they add support for Posterous!
In terms of sheer number of accounts (Twitter, Facebook & FB Pages, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare etc) Hootsuite seems to have edged ahead slightly compared to Tweetdeck and Seesmic. I may be wrong but in terms of services that are useful to me, it is the best.
The Perfect Combo
So for the moment Hootsuite on the computer and on the go serves me very well. Particularly being able to track links with Ow.ly sent on the Dektop and Phone right inside the web version.
Hootsuite has announced it’s new pricing plans which will come into effect for current users in this next week. There is a still a free option and the other plans do come with free trials so I’ll probably give one a go and weigh up how much I’m willing to pay, if anything.
I’ve also been trying out Tweetdeck for Android and have quite taken to it. I’ll see how it goes when it gets a proper release. It might turn out the Hootsuite glove doesn’t fit so well any more.