Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

HootSuite 5 Is Live

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

HootSuite just upgraded to a new version. HootSuite 5 features an HTML5-enhanced interface, geo-search, integrated Google Analytics, and native Twitter Re-Tweets.

When logging in to HootSuite, you get a helpful popup explaining all the new features. See the image below.

The geo-search feature pretty much works as it sounds. If someone has enabled geo-location, HootSuite lets you search for those tweets in a specific area. It can be useful for finding local news, restaurants, or events.

HootSuite now lets you choose how you re-tweet. You can do it the old fashioned way by typing RT, as always. You can now use Twitter’s new native re-tweet feature though, if that is more your style. I personally prefer the old method, since it is easier to append comments to a re-tweet. HootSuite conveniently tweeted about enabling the old re-tweet function. “Click the Owl > Settings > Preferences > Uncheck ‘Use Twitter Web retweets’.”

Sharing pictures in your tweets is now as easy as dragging an image from your desktop into the message box. HootSuite shares the image with an Ow.ly shortened URL. Google Analytics can now be viewed on the dashboard rather than on a separate page. HootSuite is also boasting faster speeds, better Facebook integration, and new themes.

I think the new site looks great. I’ve been using HootSuite as long as I’ve been using Twitter, and have always enjoyed the service. It was sometimes hard to find things, but the new layout fixes a lot of things. If you haven’t tried HootSuite yet, give it a try. If you are a current user, things just got better. I am looking forward to seeing what else HootSuite comes up with.

HootSuite Adds Team Management

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

HootSuite has a new feature, and they are very proud of it. So proud that they force you to read about it every time you load their page. See the image below to read the contents of the popup.

I am a fan of HootSuite, and have been using it almost as long as I have been using Twitter. At work I use CoTweet, and while they always had similar features, HootSuite seems to have improved on their end.

The new feature apparently deals directly with social networking. Twitter can be considered social networking, but I am guessing this has to do more with blogs, Facebook, and such. I can see how this can be a useful feature, especially if any writers join me here at Padgett Tech. As I don’t need it yet, I think that HootSuite could have gone about advertising the feature a little better. Fortunately for them I am a happy user, so I am only mildly annoyed at the popup. I would like to know how to make it go away permanently however. If anyone figures it out be sure to let me know.

If anyone is using HootSuite, check out the new feature and let me know what you think. Should I have an opportunity to use it I will post about it.

Twitter Apps

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

twitter

From the moment Twitter released its API to developers, there has been no shortage of products to assist people in using and managing their Twitter Accounts. I have been using HootSuite for almost as long as I have been using Twitter. As I was getting familiar with HootSuite, a business-minded product called Co-Tweet came out. I was aware of in the periphery a couple more major players, Seesmic and TweetDeck. I started playing with Seesmic and TweetDeck this week to see what each had to offer. For the most part, each of these products does the same thing. They send updates to your Twitter account, and let you do all the things you would do on Twitter’s website on either a desktop application or the product’s website.

hootsuite

Since HootSuite is the first one I used, I’ll start with it. HootSuite has a pretty simple interface. You can add multiple accounts, and can assign users to tweet for you. There is a convenient bookmarklet that you can drag into your browser’s bookmark bar. HootSuite can shrink URLs for you in order to save Twitter real-estate. 140 characters go away quickly when you are using long URLs. HootSuite has all the features you would expect. You can read tweets from people you follow, read and send direct messages, and of course post updates.

cotweet

Co-Tweet was the next product I tried. Co-Tweet was designed with business in mind, and expects business clients to have multiple users associated with a single Twitter account. While HootSuite has a similar feature, the User Interface (UI) is a little more serene on Co-Tweet. A less flashy UI makes for a more respectable business client. Co-Tweet does all the things I mentioned about HootSuite. It is easy to use, and I am happy with it.

seesmic-web

Next up is Seesmic. Seesmic has a desktop application as well as a web interface. my preference lately has been toward web apps but I wanted to try out the desktop version as well. The desktop version was pretty easy to use. There is a convenient tab bar on the left that lets you toggle between your friends’ tweets, any lists you follow, and more. I thought that by comparison with some of the other products, the desktop version of Seesmic is less attractive. This doesn’t mean it is inferior, it just didn’t have much style. The web version is another story. I found Seesmic Web to be a little easier to use. The navigation bar is more straightforward, and I was able to find things much faster on the web interface. The first thing I did was make a Chrome App for it. You can choose either a white or black template. I chose the black, since it made the interface look more professional. Overall, Seesmic had the same things to offer as the first two, but it made image integration a little easier, and offers URL shortening services from multiple vendors, not just a proprietary one.

tweetdeck

Last up is TweetDeck. From what I can tell, TweetDeck doesn’t have a web version. It makes you install Adobe Air, and the first couple times I tried, the installation failed. After the third or fourth try, it finally worked. It looks like if you go to the website and click “Launch TweetDeck”, it opens the desktop application that you had to previously install. Overall, the UI for TweetDeck is very nice. The features are easy to use. Finding the Twitter lists was a little trickier than on Seesmic, but it was still easy to figure out. One thing I have noticed is an alert each time a tweet comes in. A little popup window shows you the new tweet, and plays an audible alert. If I was to use this full-time, I would proably turn off both features, but the audio would be harder to live with than the popup I think. I found TweetDeck very easy to use. It shares a lot of the features as the above options, but is more closely in competition with Seesmic.

For the most part, Seesmic and TweetDeck behave the same way. Seesmic web looks similar to TweetDeck, especially in black. Both have an eye-catching interface, and both offer a lot of the same features. It looks like these two are in constant competition for users, which is always a good thing for the customers.

Most if not all of these apps allow you to incorporate Linked-In, Facebook, and/or Myspace as well. I am only using it for Twitter so far. I use Friendfeed to post my blogs to Facebook via Twitter, but that is another topic I might post about later.

Now that I’ve tried out the big names in third-party Twitter apps, it looks like the bottom line comes down to user preference. If you like a specific color-scheme, or the way the UI lets you find your lists or your friends, then go with that one. They all have something to offer. For my part, I am happy using HootSuite for personal use, and Co-Tweet for business use. Of course Twitter itself is about to throw its hat in the ring and offer a business interface. Whichever one you choose, have fun. Don’t feel locked into one version because at this point, they are all free. If you change your mind or another one gets the update you were waiting for, you can easily switch. Try out the various options, and let me know which one you pick.