It calls itself “The professional Twitter client” and today it went several steps further toward reinforcing that position. The company rolled out a new version of its app, called Hootsuite5 (see blog post). Aside from a a touched-up dashboard, improvements include:
- Extensive use of HTML5, which runs quietly behind the scenes to bring yummy goodness such as drag and drop, geo-search and quicker switching between tabs and streams. Anything that improves user experience is a good thing.
- Themes to customize your dashboard’s appearance. Not such a big deal but definitely keeping up with the times.
- Publish photos to your Facebook wall. This won’t manage your Facebook albums, but it means that when you post a link you can include an image, just as you would posting directly onto Facebook.
- Retweet options include using the traditional RT, which Hootsuite incorporated in the early days, or now using Twitter’s built-in retweet option (which sucks IMO). According to the company’s blog “HootSuite users can choose whether to Re-Tweet with initials “RT” or to use the Twitter native auto-Re-Tweet tool.” However, I couldn’t see how to RT in the way you used to with Hootsuite. Now, the function is like Twitter’s. Here’s how: “Click the Owl > Settings > Preferences > Uncheck “Use Twitter Web retweets” (Thanks to @Hootsuite_Help for clarifying.)
- Access your Google Analytics data. Hootsuite now integrates your Google Analytics data into its dashboard. Great time saver, since you don’t need to login to Google to get your latest stats. But wait, there’s more! You can overlay your tweets from various Twitter accounts to evaluate which tweets are providing the most traffic to your sites. This will be a great tool for marketers.
- Attachments! This is getting almost like email. You can include an image or other file as an attachment to your tweet (or hoot). The attached file is automatically linked with a shortened URL.
- More goodness! Hootsuite has speeded up the interface, and provided easier access to support, and Japanese users can now use the app in their own language (not so useful for me, I confess).
These improvements are sure to keep Hootsuite as leading application for those looking to streamline management of their Twitter outreach. It certainly came out tops in a recent online discussion on LinkedIn.
If you use Twitter to do more than update your timeline on what you’re having for breakfast, I strongly recommend Hootsuite. To get the most out of it, read Ten steps to becoming a Twitter power user with Hootsuite.