Review: TweetDeck vs. HootSuite

Awhile back we had a knock-out-drag-out between HootSuite and SocialOomph, with HootSuite winning handily.  Now, we’re pairing up HootSuite with TweetDeck.  Until recently I was an avid user of TweetDeck for keeping track of my Twitterverse.  I switched to HootSuite because TweetDeck seemed to be dropping a lot of messages out of my groups and mentions (not cool).  Plus, I’m using HootSuite as my Tweet scheduler now (having won over SocialOomph), so it was easier to be in one place all day. But, let’s see how these two stack up:

User Interface: Advantage = Neutral

There are things I really like about HootSuite’s interface, but some of it is preference.  It was easier in TweetDeck to keep track of multiple social networks in one window, whereas you have to click to different tabs in HootSuite.  And adding a tweet with a URL is much easier in TweetDeck, which automatically shortens any URLs you type in the box – in HootSuite you have to put URLs in a separate field to have them shortened (lame!).  On the other hand, updating multiple or one social network is much easier on HootSuite.  I always had problems sending tweets to the wrong place in TweetDeck (but maybe that’s just me).  In HootSuite, you just check off which networks you want the update to go to – TweetDeck was making assumptions and pre-selecting (trying to be helpful) but they were often wrong.  So, I call this one a draw.

hootsuiteoverview

Scheduled Updates: Advantage = HootSuite

TweetDeck doesn’t support scheduled tweets, so HootSuite handily wins this category.  TweetDeck is great for monitoring conversations and tweeting in real-time.  But some of us like to have updates go out periodically when we’re not tied to the desk/laptop. Scheduled tweets is necessary for me.

Speed:  Advantage = HootSuite

HootSuite wins this hands-down.  TweetDeck is a memory hog and doesn’t update as often.  They try to give you control over this by allowing you to change your calls to the Twitter-API, but I don’t think most of us know how to tune that to be the most efficient.  HootSuite’s entire interface is much faster (at least for me)

URL shorteners: Advantage = Neutral

TweetDeck allows you to choose between 4 different shorteners and HootSuite uses it’s own shortner (ow.ly). I happen to currently prefer ow.ly because of the awesome stats (see below). But bit.ly (supported by TweetDeck) also provides stats and you can use it for any purpose – making it nice for overall social media strategies.

Photos: Advantage = TweetDeck

Both services allow you to upload photos, but TweetDeck will integrate with your choice of 3 different Twitter photo services.  HootSuite just lets you upload a picture file.  Most of my tweets with photos are done on the run from my iPhone (where I use Tweetie), so this isn’t really an issue.

Statistics: Advantage = HootSuite

HootSuite’s stats are big, bold and beautiful (not to mention useful).  Originally one of my biggest complaints about their service, HootSuite has since updated their stats and they are awesome.  Unfortunately the stats only apply to Twitter accounts right now – but hopefully they’ll integrate stats with the other social network soon.  TweetDeck’s only stats are through supported URL shorteners (bit.ly’s stats aren’t bad and can be used for other social networks).

hootsuitestats

Additional Social Networks: Advantage = HootSuite

Both HootSuite and TweetDeck allow me to update several Twitter accounts, my Facebook account, and my LinkedIn account.  HootSuite also allows you to update your Facebook business pages and any account you can tie to Ping.fm (win!) – so pretty much anything.

Twitter Interface:  Advantage = TweetDeck

As much as I like HootSuite’s scheduled tweeting, the Twitter interface can get a little clunky with the separate box for shortening URLs and 4 clicks required to schedule a time (plus times can only be on the 5s).  TweetDeck’s twitter interface is easy and fast – great for normal tweeting.

Multiple Accounts & Multiple Users: Advantage = HootSuite

HootSuite makes it easy to add multiple users and control which accounts they can update. For each user, it also keeps track of their timezone and whether you want initials to show up with updates. TweetDeck supports multiple accounts but since it’s a desktop application, there isn’t really any ability to have multiple users per account.

Twitter User Features: Advantage = TweetDeck

One thing I miss about TweetDeck is the user controls – on any Tweet I can do just about anything I can do from Twitter.  HootSuite has most of the features, but not quite all of them.

hootsuite-icon_bigger

Conclusion: HootSuite Wins 6-4 (half points for neutral)

HootSuite’s speed, stats and ability to schedule tweets close the deal for me.  What do you think?

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  • hootsuite

    Great review – it's like the Olympic-showdown of Twitter clients! A note to folks who prefer a desktop app rather than a web-app, keep in mind that HootSuite comes in 3 flavors standalone: Prism, Chrome and Fluid.

  • http://trishussey.com Tris Hussey

    Excellent review. I flip between the two apps on a regular basis. I think because I don't mind flipping back and forth, lends strength to your almost draw review. Both are great, but TweetDeck does win for layout, pics, and URLs.

  • http://manorbooks.com/ Lauralee

    I've used both HootSuite and TweetDeck and prefer The Hoot by a long way. I don't need a whole lot of fancy features, but what I do need is an E-Z to navigate site that brings it all to me in one place. I love HS.

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    Thanks! Do you have a link with more information about the standalones?

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    Thanks, Tris. I was flipping back and forth for awhile – then I had a chance to export my TweetDeck groups to private lists so I could see them in HootSuite too. I haven't opened TweetDeck as much lately. I agree that TweetDeck does a better job with layout/pics and URLs. I appreciate your comment!

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    Thanks for your input, Lauralee! Heh, The Hoot! They need some tshirts with that on them. They do win in the cute logo contest!

  • hootsuite

    Sure Sazbean, You can find all the mobile and standalone versions here: http://hootsuite.com/apps

  • http://twitter.com/HootSuite HootSuite
  • Jason

    Hi Sarah,
    I prefer Tweetdeck over hootsuite, but another app you may want to look at is Twaitter (http://twaitter.com).
    They're statistics aren't out yet, but they have by far the best scheduling options. They're actually quite good especially since they are developed by a group of volunteers rather than the multi-million dollar funded TweetDeck and Hootsuite.

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    Thanks for the suggestion, Jason. I'll take a look at Twaitter – I'm always looking for a better way to schedule, although I've been pretty happy with HootSuite since they have a Hootlet brower link.

  • kristendeem

    I have been a fan of HootSuite for nearly a year and I really like the interface over TweetDeck. Pre-Scheduling tweets is really valuable for me, as well as getting my stats. HOWEVER, my numbers have gone way down recently and I've heard people don't like Ow.ly links / they stall out or have other problems, so this has me concerned. Anyone else heard the ow.ly links are problematic?

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    I've heard that people don't like the ow.ly links as well – mostly because they put a bar at the top of the browser – but both Facebook and Digg do this as well. I tend to attribute most of the difference in numbers to HootSuite actually filtering out bots – it doesn't seem like others do as much.

    Thanks for your comment and for reading! Hope this helps…

  • http://twitter.com/KenKaminesky Ken Kaminesky

    If Tweet Deck had the ability to do tabs, has a bookmarklet like Hootlet and was not soooooooo slooooooow it would be my choice.

    If Hoot Suite allowed the use of other url shorteners and had a choice of themes (I like the dark theme that TD uses, easy on the eyes) and if HS could give me access to who's following me and have a cool update window, then HS would be my choice.

    So for now I'm playing with both.

    The Hoot Suite link hijacking bar I keep hearing about never shows up for me, has that changed?

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    Hi Ken, I agree that neither TD or HS is perfect. I prefer HS right now due to the stats, the speed, and the ability to update so many different accounts from one place. The “hijacking bar” may not show up again if you've somehow disabled it. Also, we discussed the so called hijack at the last SMCD – apparently HS sends a 302 redirect so it shouldn't really be stealing much google juice. Thanks for your comment!

  • AJBopp

    Tweetdeck's memory usage is not just an advantage/disadvantage thing for me. It's a score of -5000. 100 MB of RAM to manage 140 character messages is pretty bad IMO

  • AJBopp

    I just checked out Twaitter. One option I really, really like is the ability to schedule recurring tweets. If Hootsuite had that and a more streamlined Tweet creation interface, it would be perfect.

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    HootSuite does allow you to schedule tweets. Recurring tweets are actually against Twitter's terms of service (as is sending the same tweet out to multiple accounts), which is probably why it's not widely supported… Twaitter does sound interesting and worth checking out.

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    Twaitter sounds like it's worth checking out. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    I tend to agree. HootSuite runs much faster than TweetDeck for me too. And I was actually missing tweets through TweetDeck – although I haven't tried the lastest version.

  • http://twitter.com/bpgoldman Bernie Goldman

    Nice review, and I pretty much agree with your conclusions. I like that HS will show sent tweets, and TD's LinkedIn feed is incomplete and tardy. But I also like TD's easier way to compose tweets. I keep both going and switch back and forth. The thing I like most about TD is the white text on black background; I wish HS would allow theme changes.

  • http://twitter.com/bpgoldman Bernie Goldman

    Just occurred to me: neither HS nor TD has the feature I love about UberTwitter on the Blackberry: one key (G) brings up a list of who you are following and typing characters autocompletes the one you want.

  • http://www.blitzbusinesssuccess.com Barb Stuhlemmer

    This review is a great help, especially since I am soon to get a new computer with more memory, but currently could not support Tweetdeck if it requires that much additional RAM.
    Has anyone tried the new Tweetdeck Beta? I'm sure since it runs Adobe Air it still requires the additional memory, but it may have more of the feature wished for in the comments.

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    When you type a message in HS and put the @ sign in and start typing the name, it does autocomplete/suggest for you. Probably more useful than bringing up your full list if you have a big list. But it is handy!

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    I liked (past because I haven't tried it for awhile) TD's message composition better too. But the speed really became an issue. HS's standalone app is much faster (altho I haven't tried TD lately).

  • http://sazbean.com sazbean

    Hi Barb, I haven't tried the TD beta, but I've heard it runs a bit better. Adobe Air is always going to require a little extra memory because it runs as an outside application. If you do give it a try, let us know how it works for you.

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