Pros & Cons of 3 Twitter Clients

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?

 

37 Comments

  1. JDaniel4's Mom

    Right now I am using Hootsuite! I love that I can schedule tweets.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Being able to schedule tweets is a great function.

      Reply
    • Jessica

      You’re welcome. Hope it was helpful.

      Reply
  2. Amanda Austin

    I use Hootsuite, and I’m a huge fan. I use it for work and personal. I started out with Tweetdeck and never could get the hang of it. It wasn’t until Hootsuite that I actually “got” Twitter. There are cons definitely, the biggest being that you have to type the name in before it autofills. I use Seesmic on my phone and it does the autofill for all followers — in fact, it autofills for any user even if you don’t follow them, which is kind of cool. It’s a lesser known platform, I think…I never hear people using it.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I don’t hear of many people using Seesmic but the autofill for all people is a really neat feature.

      Reply
  3. Jayme (RandomBlogette)

    I loved TweetDeck when I first started using it but it just stopped working one day and I was totally bummed. I tried to reinstall it and it has never worked since. I may have to try Hootsuite.

    Reply
  4. Elena

    Good comparison list! Easy to read for someone who is trying to find what site will work for them the best. I am an old school twitter.com girl and probably always will be. I hastily use tweetdeck for chats and when I need to send things out from different accounts, but I’m not really a fan. I never try to complain about this because it’s just my opinion and people can use social media how they want, but I actually can’t stand the over-140 character tweet options that tweetdeck/hootsuite offer. It’s honestly my biggest twitter pet peeve – I just usually don’t complain about it publicly. I haven’t tried Hootsuite yet, but I always say I’m going to. For now I’ll just love my regular old little tweetie bird. When twitter changed their interface last summer, that was enough change for this girl for a while. 😉

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Stick with what makes you happy. I have really learned to master the 140 characters so I think I have only used the longer tweets once or twice.

      Reply
  5. Carri

    Tweetdeck is the easiest to use, IMO.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      That is my opinion as well.

      Reply
  6. Mommy's Paradise

    This is a very good and helpful list. I would have needed it when I chose the one to use. After the Twitter.com I downloaded TweetDeck, but soon found out it has one major Conn compared to HootSuite (another one 😉 ). Let me explain:
    I am using Twitter, my old ‘real live friends’ Facebook account and my Blog-Facebook-Page at the same time. My old FB account is not the one that is behind the Blog-FB-Page. This may sound weird, but that’s the way I set it up. And of the three Twitter clients only HootSuite allows me to do this. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Kimberly

    Great list! My personal preference is TweetDeck for the desktop. It’s the easiest for me to use and I do like that you can schedule the tweets right on there. I admit though, the military time really screws me up! Overall, I think it is easy to use.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      It took me awhile to figure out military time and occasionally I still get it wrong but overall TweetDeck is my favorite.

      Reply
  8. Cori

    TWEETDECK all the way!

    I use Echofon on my iphone though…

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I started using Echofon and I love it.

      Reply
  9. notjustanotherjennifer

    I like Tweetdeck. I haven’t tried Hootsuite, so thanks for the update! Sounds good, but think I’ll stick with what I’ve got.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      When you are using the client for personal use I would say stick with what works for you.

      Reply
  10. Bewildered Bug

    It’s awesome that you compared them feature to feature here – thank you for that! I use tweetdeck at home and hootsuite at work – they’re both awesome…but tweetdeck all of a sudden is giving problems – not sending me all my tweets, not sending me my @mentions etc…do you know why by any chance? Is it possibly an upgrade issue? My Tweetdeck is the most upgraded though :S

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I haven’t heard of any TweetDeck issues nor have I had any on my computer. I know on my phone I had some trouble with the TweetDeck app and had to reinstall it but that’s it.

      Reply
  11. Kir

    On the computer I started with Twitter moved to Hoot Suite and now use Tweet Deck. I LIKE tweet Deck because of the ability to have all my lists in front of me…real time, @ me and then DM right in a row. Plus it’s really easy for me (who is not very techy) to use..I like easy.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I also like TweetDeck. I like that it gives updates in real time rather than in mass updates like HootSuite.

      Reply
  12. Grumpy Grateful Mom

    Helpful list!!! I tried out HootSuite, but haven’t used it much yet. I still want to try out TweetDeck. I wasn’t able to use the desktop version yet. Apparently, they limit the number of users, but I have Google Chrome now, so I’ll try it out again.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I really like TweetDeck for Google Chrome. It has been by far the easiest to use for me.

      Reply
  13. Kristy @PampersandPinot

    OMG, I had never even heard of these other things. I feel overwhelmed! Wow. And impressed!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I hope this helps you Kristy.

      Reply
  14. Brianna

    I use twitter.com and for my needs, it works just fine.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I have heard many people say that Twitter.com is perfect for them.

      Reply
  15. Candi Elm

    I used to use tweetdeck and really liked it, but I didn’t like that it took up space on my computer. When my computer crashed, I got hootsuite. I thinks its pretty easy to use. I haven’t figured out a few things still.

    Reply
  16. Tonya

    Very informative. I always wanted to know the differences between each of these platforms and now I do. Thanks, Jessica.

    Reply
  17. Jessica

    You’re welcome Tonya.

    Reply
  18. Maureen | Tatter Scoops

    Great comparisons and thank you for this. I might give HootSuit a try just for the sake of it. So far I’m loving my TweetDeck and using Twitter on my cell phones. 😀

    Reply
  19. Practical Parenting

    I love you for this! Have been too lazy to research what would be the best option for me. Thanks!

    Reply
  20. Tony Bynum

    Jessica, can you tell us, or point to someplace where i can figure out how to make twitter autocomplete from the my entire follow list? The last 500 thing sucks! Thank you,

    tony

    Reply
    • Admin

      Unfortunately, it isn’t a setting you can change. At least not at this time.

      Reply
  21. Ken

    I use Tweetdeck and love it. I would though, like it to show more than one hashtag per column, so that I reduce the number of columns.

    For example, I’m interested in electronic systems involved in Health Care. There are several tags for this (#eHealth, #HealthIT, etc.). Each one of these has to have its own column. I’d like these to be grouped somehow, either by simply listing all the tags, or by creating my own supergroup, naming it what I want, and searching on that supergroup.

    Is there any way of doing this?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Admin

      I haven’t seen multiple hashtag column sorts. The downside of using that approach is that if only one hashtag was used vs both, it would be left out of your column.

      Reply

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