There are a ton of twitter applications to choose from, but there are only two choices that let you manage all your social media accounts in one place. These two choices are HootSuite and TweetDeck. Although they serve a similar purpose, these two applications have their own unique pros and cons to consider.
One of the primary benefits of HootSuite, is that it is a web-based application, which means there is no need to download anything onto your computer. This feature makes it much easier for different people to use it on multiple computers, and it works on any operating system. Users can update Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, and Foursquare from this twitter client. Any other social networks can be updated on HootSuite through its Ping.fm integration. HootSuite also allows users to view, manage and post to WordPress.
Another feature that sets HootSuite apart from TweetDeck is its tabbed browsing format. Tabbed browsing allows access to multiple windows within one browser. With tabbed browsing, only one tab at a time is displayed. This allows users to view pertinent information, while hiding other, less immediately relevant information. This is a bit of a dividing issue, as some people prefer to see as much information as possible in one screen, while others prefer to focus on one thing at a time, minimizing distraction.
Users can easily post the same update to multiple accounts at once. It's also easy to create message drafts and schedule tweets to post ahead of time. HootSuite offers two URL shortening options with Ow.ly and recently, Ht.ly. Users can also view original links and preview shortened URLs before clicking on them. Tracking statistics, such as how many clicks or retweets your links get, is another valuable feature. The only real downside of HootSuite, is that some people find the layout a tad boring.
There are many similarities between HootSuite and TweetDeck. Like HootSuite, TweetDeck allows users to update their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. TweetDeck even integrates the user's LinkedIn contacts. Users can manage multiple twitter accounts, as well as create and manage twitter lists, such as who's following you. TweetDeck also makes it easy to keep up with trending events, and follow topics with saved searches. Also similar to HootSuite, TweetDeck allows users with an account to schedule their tweets ahead of time.
There are a couple areas where TweetDeck stands out from HootSuite. The dark layout of the application is aesthetically pleasing. Also, the column display allows users to see everything in one window, organized by customizable columns. Unlike HootSuite, TweetDeck allows users to play Youtube videos within TweetDeck.TweetDeck alse has a bit of an edge in spam blocking, making it incredibly easy with just a click of a button.
The downsides of TweetDeck are somewhat more significant than aesthetics. The desktop application has to be downloaded, and can't be used on multiple computers, unless the program is installed on each one. What's worse is that the Adobe Air platform tends to use up a lot of RAM and can cause problems when running multiple programs.
HootSuite and TweetDeck are as popular as they are for a reason; they're both really great twitter applications. Depending on personal preferences and specific usage, either of these are a great choice. Overall, however, I would conclude that HootSuite is the winner, mostly based on the fact that there are fewer problems that users come across with HootSuite, when compared to TweetDeck.
HootSuite's advantage in speed and versatility won this writer over, but if you're the type who rarely runs more than a few programs at once, TweetDeck is a great option.