By Rachel Schwarz

After taking all the woo-“hoo” out of HootSuite, I was optimistic about diving into TweetDeck. As a competitor of HootSuite, I was expecting a similar product with a different approach. I wasn’t entirely wrong.

TweetDeck is essentially identical to HootSuite: one website to manage your social media. Like HootSuite, blogs aren’t really amenable to the 140 character limit that TweetDeck enforces. However, it does offer the same advantage of combining a facebook status update with a tweet.

Some of the perks that TweetDeck offers that go above what HootSuite can give you are the options to upload photos and videos with a single click. If this is available on HootSuite, it’s a hidden option. Also, its connection to Twitter is much more prevalent. HootSuite offers tabs for a home feed, mentions, and direct messages. TweetDeck includes these as well as trending topics and recommendations of people you may want to follow.

A drawback of TweetDeck is that there isn’t even an option to add a blog. HootSuite has yet to perfect its integration of blogs with the 140 character limit, and only supports a limited number of WordPress blogs, but at least acknowledges their presence. TweetDeck seems to ignore all Internet communication longer than a tweet. So, if you’re anything like we are here at Speak For Yourself, HootSuite will be a more attractive option once blogs are more seamlessly combined.

Overall, I’m unimpressed with TweetDeck and HootSuite. You still have to log in, and- okay- the convenience of being able to update all of your statuses at once is convenient, but there are apps available that will automatically do that for you anyway! For those of you that are doing a minute-by-minute update of your life, a TweetDeck or a HootSuite might be appealing to you. For the rest of us, however, I’m feeling more and more like this is just one more place to waste time on social media.

Next up on my list of social media investigative reports: FourSquare. At first glance, it appears to be the perfect combination of Twitter and Facebook. We’ll see about that…

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