Welcome to another edition of the Thursday Throwdown here on Frisky Mongoose! This week, we take a break from the world of Facebook games to pit two of the largest Twitter clients against one another. Before we get to that, however, let’s take a look at the results of our last Throwdown, which saw two ancient city-building Facebook games, City of Wonder and My Empire, battling it out for supremacy.
The results are in, with you guys giving Playdom’s City of Wonder an overwhelming amount of support – the game raked in 92% of the vote, to My Empire’s 8%. This week, though, we change pace entirely, by taking a look at two Twitter clients, TweetDeck and HootSuite.
Both of these services are third-party applications, of sorts, that allow you to access your Twitter account (among other accounts) without heading to Twitter.com everytime you want to check on those that you’re following or post a new tweet.
The first major difference between the two services is the fact that TweetDeck is a downloadable client, while HootSuite is browser based, in terms of using both on your PC. This allows TweetDeck to offer pop-up notifications in the corner of your screen, complete with sounds, alerting you to when a new tweet has been posted by someone you’re following, a new update has been posted on Facebook, etc. You can customize this to only pop-up when you receive a direct mention or message, if you so choose. HootSuite is unable to offer such a convenience, due to the fact that is browser-based.
Another major difference between the two products is the amount of accounts each program lets you connect. In TweetDeck’s case, you can add your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Buzz, MySpace and foursquare accounts, while HootSuite has all of those (with the exception of Google Buzz), and also adds in PingFM and WordPress, along with a dedicated channel for Facebook Pages. In the case of multiple Twitter accounts, both let you manage multiple Twitter accounts without repeatedly logging in and out of each. Hootsuite carries this ability to Facebook accounts, while TweetDeck limits you to connecting a single Facebook account.
Just as there are some striking differences between the two clients, there are also some smaller differences that are worth noting. Here are a few:
- In terms of mobile apps, TweetDeck is free on iPhone/iPad. HootSuite, however, costs $2.99 for the full version on iPhone, iPad. You can also download HootSuite Lite for free, but this of course has limited functionality.
- HootSuite has an Android app, which also costs $2.99, while TweetDeck is currently in beta (that is, unavailable to download, but is coming soon), and it will likely be free.
- HootSuite allows you to track an entire Twitter conversation of @ replies directly underneath the final message in the conversation, while TweetDeck pops up a separate window, that can actually cover up your other windows until you manually close it.
- HootSuite’s Facebook Page integration means that you can update any Facebook Pages that you happen to be a moderator of, in addition to your own status updates and the like on your personal account. TweetDeck, again, doesn’t offer such integration. In this way, HootSuite offers more of an advantage to the corporate world, whereas TweetDeck is more for Twitter’s “power-users.”
- HootSuite has its own image-hosting and link shortening service, with Ow.ly, while TweetDeck utilizes a number of services for both image-hosting and link shortening, and you can choose between them. Options include bit.ly, tinyurl, yfrog and Twitpic, among others.
- You can schedule Tweets to post at a particular time in HootSuite (say, when a new blog post goes live), but TweetDeck doesn’t offer this feature.
As usual, there are many more comparisons and contrasts to be made between these two products, but for the average user, these are the main items to consider when choosing your next third-party Twitter client. So which one is ultimately better? We’ll leave that for you to decide via the handy poll below.
Once you’ve made your choice, let us know why you voted the way you did in the comments below – we’d love to hear what you think!