There are several Twitter client options available for use on your computer. Each tool is different and has its own advantages and disadvantages. Many of them are overlapping in features, and when using Twitter for non-business related reasons, it really boils down to user preference as to which tool is best.

This post focuses on Twitter.com, HootSuite, and TweetDeck only. This evaluation is based on Twitter use for personal or blog needs, and not for business.

Twitter.com

Twitter.com is the most basic option for users.

Advantages of Using Twitter.com

  • Browser based, so no software download is required.
  • Links added to your tweets appear shortened in your timeline.
  • Auto-complete of Twitter handles as you type (though only for the most recent 500 handles followed).
  • Direct access to your Twitter profile as well as the ability to sort followers into lists and search for tweets and/or people.

Disadvantages of Using Twitter.com

  • To view tweets from a certain list or only tweets containing your handle, you have to navigate between views.
  • Unable to schedule tweets.
  • No tweets beyond 140 characters allowed.
  • There is a delay between timeline updates.

HootSuite

HootSuite comes in 2 version: free and an upgraded, paid, “pro” version. This recap is based on the free version.

Advantages of Using HootSuite

  • Basic analytics for Twitter and Facebook.
  • Allows users to add a column for “Sent Tweets”.
  • Users can view multiple columns on one screen so need to navigate between views.
  • Easy to set up columns that search by hashtag, list, handle, etc.
  • Ability to schedule tweets using a.m. and p.m.
  • Browser based, so no software download is required.
  • Followers’ Klout scores are viewable with a couple clicks.
  • Ability to manage & post to multiple social media accounts at once.

Disadvantages of Using HootSuite

  • Any link you want shortened needs to be added to a special field and then the “Shrink” button clicked.
  • Handles have to be typed manually once before auto-complete is possible.
  • Streams update occasionally so those who do not prefer bulk updates may find this to be a disadvantage.
  • Tweets beyond 140 characters are truncated.
  • To send a tweet, you must either click a button with your mouse or press Shift + Enter keys

TweetDeck (Desktop)

TweetDeck is a desktop application that requires a software download to use.

Advantages of Using TweetDeck

  • Users can view multiple columns on one screen so need to navigate between views.
  • Easy to set up columns that search by hashtag, list, handle, etc.
  • Ability to schedule tweets.
  • Two stream speeds: Real-time and not.
  • Ability to manage & post to multiple social media accounts at once.
  • Tweets longer than 140 characters are allowed (and not truncated) using Deck.Ly.
  • Accepts your bit.ly API key for tracking of links clicked.
  • All (followed) handles auto-complete as you type.
  • You can send a tweet with just 1 key stroke (Enter).
  • Links can be added into the same field as your text and will auto-shorten without an extra key stroke.

Disadvantages of Using TweetDeck

  • Scheduled tweets are in military time.
  • Program download required.
  • No built-in analytics feature

TweetDeck (Google Chrome)

TweetDeck for Google Chrome is a web page-based option so it doesn’t have to be downloaded to the computer and can be used from any computer that has the Google Chrome browser.

This version of TweetDeck is a little more user-friendly than the desktop application and has most of the same advantages. One difference with TweetDeck for Google Chrome is that after linking multiple social media accounts to TweetDeck in Chrome, all status updates will be posted to one stream. So, tweets and Facebook updates will all be posted together in the home stream.

The disadvantages to using TweetDeck for Chrome vs the desktop application are:

  • Users can’t schedule tweets.
  • Users can’t write longer tweets.
  • Users can’t add the bit.ly account to have analytics.
What is your preferred Twitter client? What other reasons do you have for liking or disliking Twitter.com, HootSuite or TweetDeck?

 

About JessicaTorres (8 Posts)

Jessica Torres is the wanna-be entertaining writer of the blog My Time As Mom. She is the official caretaker of 1 husband, 2 adorably insane girls, and 2 dumb dogs which causes her to be operating under the influence of sleep deprivation on most days. Since joining the blogosphere in January of 2011 she has been hard at work learning all there is to know about social media and sharing her knowledge with anyone that will listen. You can follow her on Twitter and also check out her project VlogTalk (@VlogTalkMeme) where she has partnered with Elena (Mommy is in Timeout) to encourage bloggers to step in front of the camera every week.


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