How do you tweet?
I admit I'm a power user, I've amassed more than 50 000 tweets in the 4 years of using the service. (12k a year, 1k a month, 30 a day). I'm particular about my user experience and I've been a Tweetdeck fan for years.
First things first: I prefer a desktop experience. I never do full screen windows for my workflow. I like to quickly move between tasks and having one app open full screen while I work in a small corner of it bothers me.
So I like having Tweetdeck full screen in the background while I have other tiles on top. Hootsuite is mostly a browser app. If you're tab happy, you'll like the clean way it tucks into the dozen other tabs you have open in your browser.
There is a workaround to get Hootsuite on your Mac desktop, it involves using Fluid to "appify" the browser experience for the desktop. And it works fine for me.
The main differences between the two is how they update their tweets. Tweetdeck is more consistent. Every few seconds an icon will pop up showing me how many new tweets are in my hashtags, stream and those that mention me. It's easy.
Hootsuite doesn't have that conistent flow. Instead of a few tweets showing up every few seconds, 30 or more fly in every minute. I find it harder to consume the content on Hootsuite because it's served up in meals instead of snacks.
Hootsuite also doesn't lock the columns to the top. Anytime new content shows up, the window stays at the last tweet you read. I can't simply peek around my open window to see the tweets floating in behind. I have to click in and scroll to the top thus interrupting my work flow.
Hootsuite does have it over Tweetdeck in a number of categories. While both let you manage multiple accounts, Hootsuite actually drops you "in" to the account through the tabs. I can set up search columns in Tweetdeck to monitor multiple @'s, but Hootsuite gives you a unique window for each account you manage helping you to filter and track the content for each account.
Then there's cost. Tweetdeck is 100% free, Hootsuite works with a freemium model. You can manage a couple of accounts and get access to some of the features for free, the more detailed and deep you want your experience, the more it's going to cost (starting at $5/mo).
Hootsuite's proprietary ow.ly short code also gives you a great way to track your links. It's much easier for me to see which content is sticky, which links need another push and what kind of links are more attractive to my followers.
So it's a tie. I wish Tweetdeck had better account management and analytics, I wish Hootsuite had a smoother flow of tweets in the stream.
Which Twitter manager do you use?
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