After acquiring Tweetdeck in 2011, many of Tweetdeck’s fans feared Twitter would simply shut it down after making extensive updates to Twitter’s website and features. Instead, Twitter simply narrowed Tweetdeck’s focus, worked on its web experience and gave the dashboard a makeover that launched Wednesday.
Building up to this makeover, Tweetdeck phased out its mobile app and removed Facebook integration last month. After 2 years with the company, Tweetdeck’s founder Iain Dodsworth departed Twitter last week. Tweetdeck’s transition to Twitter-only compatibility isn’t shocking because the company is Twitter-owned, but is it a smart move?
Before getting into an analysis of this strategy, here’s a recap of all the changes Tweetdeck received in this week’s makeover:
- Tweetdeck’s interface has lightened up visually. Since its creation, the dashboard has always been dark gray/black with washed out white writing. The background is now light gray with black type. In some ways, the new look is an uncanny fusion of Hootsuite and USA Today’s site design.
- They’ve relocated the dashboard menu from the top of the screen to the left side
- The menu features some new options in the redesign. You can expand the menu to take a better look at all of its options. The menu now features an option to look at all your scheduled tweets, another feature similar to Hootsuite.
- Each columns include and drop-down option giving you the option to search individual columns for keywords or users.
- Every “Home” icon represents a main timeline for one of your accounts. An “@” sign signifies mentions of your account name. TweetDeck dashboards with multiple accounts will list multiple “@”s. Any accounts tracked in columns will also appear as “@”s.
- Adding columns to your dashboard just got easier. The “Add Column” button is now part of the left menu, below the Column List. You can create columns based on any of nine different tweet facets, including “Mentions,” “Lists,” “Activity,” and search.
- With the “Search” bar you can still search for other users, tweets or keywords, and to build a new column based upon search results, but it is now a part of the left-hand menu.
Hootsuite and Tweetdeck have been rivals since they were both launched in 2008. These completely different social media dashboards are often compared and viewed as rivals. Users managing more than one social media account often choose between these two tools. In actuality, these dashboards fulfill completely different objectives.
I’d liken the Hootsuite vs. Tweetdeck rivalry to tennis legend Roger Federer and the one-time American champ Andy Roddick. While in his prime, Federer dominated on every playing surface with a variety of superior skills, but Roddick’s Grand Slam success was primarily limited to grass courts and his record breaking fast serves that helped him reach multiple Grand Slam finals. These two were often compared, their matches highly anticipated and often filled with nail biting play. In reality, Federer defeated Roddick 21 times out of their 24 career matches. There was a contest, but Roddick, the underdog, never realized the heights of success he desired.
If Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are competing for best social media dashboard and management tool, Hootsuite will win nearly every time. Hootsuite has better analytics, compatiability with just about every relevant social platform out there and features that allow you to professionally manage multiple accounts. Tweetdeck isn’t trying to compete anymore. It’s trying to provide users the best comprehensive Twitter management dashboard.
In reality, most people using and monitoring Twitter need to do the same with their Facebook profiles. A lot of users tweeted their negative feelings when the ability to post to both Twitter and Facebook simultaneously was removed, but will these changes result in a mass exodus for Tweetdeck’s core fanbase who miss Facebook’s integration?
I’ve used Tweetdeck for my personal use for years, but never professionally. Professionally, myself, my company and coworkers have partnered with Hootsuite and use it in our daily work.
Tweetdeck is a completely free service and in my opinion adequately provides features that help users have a better Twitter experience in personal use. Hootsuite does offer a free option as well, but a lot of its premium features are only available at a cost. Free features are important to the personal, casual Twitter user.
I use Tweetdeck to monitor my personal Twitter account and things that I’m personally interested in. It’s inconvenient that they lost Facebook integration, but it’s not a deal breaker for me. I use Facebook and Twitter differently. I use the different platforms to connect with different audiences. I use Facebook primarily to connect with personal friends and family. I use Twitter to connect with my community, make professional connections, stay informed and join in on global conversations. I really only need dashboard features for Twitter to monitor my tweets, scheduled messages, new followers and people that engaging with me.
I love having my personal profiles and the professional accounts I manage on separate dashboards. It makes me feel more safe when I’m using Twitter personally and helps me ensure I’ll never post a personal message on a brand’s profile. I don’t miss out on the Tweetdeck app because the Twitter app’s been approved and adequately allows me to use my personal Twitter account on my mobile.
So, what do you think? Do you think Tweetdeck’s makeover is enough to reenergize its fan base and provide better functionality to its users?