10 Reasons I’m Switching from TweetDeck to HootSuite

TweetDeck is a fantastic app, don’t get me wrong. However, HootSuite offers the candy that’s more satisfying to my taste buds. My Twitter apps are what I call “always-on” because they’re one of the few apps I leave running and visible at all times. So, switching apps isn’t something I take lightly.

With that said, here’s ten reasons I’ve decided to switch from TweetDeck to HootSuite.

Fluid & Adobe AIR

Before I get started, I should note that HootSuite is running as a “desktop app” via Fluid on OS X. TweetDeck, on the other hand, runs via Adobe AIR, which is known to be somewhat of a resource hog.

1. System Resource Usage

An important aspect of apps I run at all times is their resource usage. I won’t use any app that uses more resources than I feel is worth the benefits I get from the app. This was a relatively significant factor in my switch from TweetDeck to Hootsuite.

I found that TweetDeck regularly used over 200 MB of RAM and a consistent ~1% of CPU, spiking to 26-35% when refreshing Tweet streams. TweetDeck used ~115 MB of RAM on a fresh startup (what HootSuite used after several days of usage).

TweetDeck System Resources

TweetDeck System Resources

Hootsuite, running via Fluid, uses significantly less system resources. I found that running Hootsuite 24/7 used ~115 MB of RAM with a consistent 0.2% of CPU, spiking to 15-25% when refreshing Tweet streams. Hootsuite uses less than 90 MB of RAM on a fresh startup and took several hours to reach 100 MB RAM usage.

Hootsuite System Resources

Hootsuite System Resources

Although these are quite small amounts of RAM and CPU usage, it all adds up. I frequently use apps like Photoshop, multiple browsers and Parallels, so saving system resources where possible keeps more available for those more important and resource hungry apps.

2. Themes

If you’re going to use an app frequently, you’ll probably want it to look great, but you’ll definitely need it to be very usable and reliable. While I don’t necessarily have anything against TweetDeck’s interface design, I just like Hootsuite’s better.

TweetDeck Interface

TweetDeck Interface

In defense of TweetDeck, I didn’t like Hootsuite’s interface design all that much until their recent full redesign. Hootsuite’s recent redesign, however, gave the app a much needed face-lift.

Hootsuite Interface

Hootsuite Interface

While both apps have a few theme options, Hootsuite’s themes are more to my taste, even though you can customize TweetDeck’s colors. As a designer, I’m much more drawn to Hootsuite’s fresh and sexy design.

3. Column Widths

Aside from general appearance, column width options are a desired, yet generally lacking, feature I sought. TweetDeck’s column width is fixed, whereas Hootsuite’s columns dynamically adjust to fit the browser (or Fluid) window. With a 1680px width screen, I found Hootsuite’s dynamic column width made better use of screen real-estate.

Hootsuite also provides a nifty slider (top right) that you can use to quickly adjust the number of columns in view, which the app will automatically adjust column widths to fit the space available.

4. Drag & Drop with Columns and Tabs

Hootsuite let’s you drag and drop columns and tabs to quickly reorder them however you’d like. Drag and drop functionality is much more intuitive than trying to find a button to accomplish the same thing (as in TweetDeck).

Drag and Drop

Drag and Drop

5. Threaded Conversations

Threaded Conversations

Threaded Conversations

It’s pretty easy to loose track of a Twitter conversation if you run multiple accounts and talk with lots of people about lots of different things. Hootsuite offers threaded conversations, which you can quickly show/hide to make sure you’re on top of it all and you keep everything straight.

6. Tabs

If you’re a Twitter power user that prefers apps with column views, it’s likely you use piles of columns. I personally use five columns that are always visible, with several others I routinely check via Hootsuite’s tabs. While the tabbing feature of Hootsuite may seem insignificant, it really helps organize your social network information for more than just Twitter and multiple accounts (Facebook, MySpace, Foursquare, etc).



Again, this is a feature that comes back to keeping information organized so you can stay on top of it all.

7. Scheduling & Saving Tweets

Though TweetDeck now has Tweet scheduling, it wasn’t available for a long time. This was a must-have feature for me when I became Editor of Web.AppStorm. If I was unavailable or traveling, it’s important to publish tweets at the same time (or soon after) posts are published. Sometimes the only way this is accomplished is via Tweet scheduling.

Tweet Scheduling

Tweet Scheduling

Hootsuite also offers an option to email you once the message is set, a great feature when you’re traveling and want some extra assurance. This is something TweetDeck doesn’t yet offer.

Hootsuite also lets you save drafts for later, which I don’t really use but it may be useful for others. Yet another feature TweetDeck doesn’t offer.



8. Access Anywhere

Though both TweetDeck and Hootsuite offer apps for the iPhone, iPad and desktop (Windows, Mac & Linux), Hootsuite is currently the only one between these two apps that offers web access. Though I don’t use it often, I love the ability to jump on any computer with internet access and immediately access my Twitter client as if I were on my home system. Themes, columns, settings, etc., all available exactly as I left it at home.

The big point here is that it’s immediately accessible. No software to install. This would be great for students and employees who can’t install software on their employer’s work systems.

9. Google Analytics & Stats Tracking

If you use your social networks for more than just fun, you’ll likely want to track traffic stats. Hootsuite offers Google Analytics integration so you can easily view your site stats as well as stats for shortened links using Ow.ly and Ht.ly, directly within the app.

Site Analytics

Site Analytics

10. Team Collaboration

Organizations with teams of people working together can take advantage of Hootsuite’s team collaboration features, even allowing assignments. Though most average users won’t need this capability, it’s nice knowing I’m using a platform with these capabilities should they ever be necessary. For teams, this would be invaluable.

Team Collaboration

Team Collaboration

Final Thoughts

Both TweetDeck and Hootsuite are fantastic apps for enjoying and managing your social networks, specifically Twitter. At first I wasn’t too keen on switching to Hootsuite but after I gave it some time to give it an honest chance, it quickly won me over (especially with it’s latest redesign and new features).

Both apps offer a list of features a mile long and which app fits you better will just depend on what you want and need. However, I think Hootsuite will likely better fit a larger number of people due to its flexibility and extra capabilities.

If you have any questions about Hootsuite, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you asap. I’d also love to hear your thoughts and experiences of these apps. Thanks!


Add Yours
  • Thanks for the comprehensive post and for spreading the word about HootSuite. We take a lot of pride in building elegant and useful tools for collaborative teams and power users alike and enjoy well-thought-out feedback like you’ve provided.

    Cheers from HootSuite HQ!

    • Thanks for HootSuite. I just got it a couple days ago and subscribed to the Pro version. Can you tell me where I can download the desktop version instead of having to use it through my browser? Thanks. :o)

  • Now that I’m running several Twitter accounts from TweetDeck, I can totally see how great tabbed browsing would be.

    I bet it would significantly cut down on the amount of times I end up tweeting from the wrong account 😛

  • My reasons exactly for making the very same switch. TD is an impressive app but it kinda killed my last laptop with all of its resource usage. After HootSuite’s redesigned interface it’s hard to look elsewhere when it comes to managing your social networks.

  • Great post and interesting as I have yet to try out Hootsuite. I think that the new threading system sounds like it will be a winner.

  • What a hootastic top ten tips. I am an avid fan of hootsuite and constantly recommend it to new and existing twitter users. Great functionality, particularly RTs. Recent upgrade caused minor setback until finding out out to reset ability to schedule RTs. As an ghost tweeter for some clients, the i-phone app gets the thumbs up for me as this means I can tweet and RT for them wherever I am.

  • OK, I’m convinced enough to make the switch & give it a try.

  • It may be that I’m naturally inclined to using web apps as opposed to desktop apps, but that notwithstanding, I just love the blinking Owl. For one, I hate to have to install Adobe AIR before I can install TD. That alone to me is an overkill considering the fact that I’m using a system that is not so well endowed in terms of resources :-).

    And then I cannot for the life of me stand the TD interface or themes. I just feel they are not so eye catching. The recent Hootsuite upgrade that came with a choice of themes just made my love perfect for the owl.

    Add HTML5 and geolocation search features and you’ll hurriedly go marry the blinking Owl :-)

  • HootSuite is very easy, memory free and nicely designed. I’m using it about 5 months and I never think of changing it :)

  • I used Tweetdeck for about a week, Seismic for a few days and then settled on Hootsuite. I’m not even sure if they offered the desktop version when I started using it but I find the web version suites me just fine. It’s 100% reliable and they’re always updating it and listening to users concerns. I’m a huge fan.

    Your post pretty much sums up why anyone would switch. I wish that more people used scheduling when sending their tweets. I get annoyed when I see a ton of tweets from the same person in a stream, which is why I try to space mine out through the day.

  • I’d make the switch in a heartbeat if only Hootsuite had an option to clear columns (delete tweets from column) so that only the new Tweets from last time I checked, were visible…

    • Great point, and something that should be mentioned in the main post – this is something I’d HAVE to have as I cannot stand not clearing the columns. (I’ve gotten used to it on the iPad TweetDeck though…)

    • Initially I preferred it this way as well, but now I’ve gotten used to Hootsuite loading previous tweets and I actually prefer it that way. I’d like to see an option in Hootsuite to set it whichever way is preferred. :)

    • I’m with you, this is a key feature for me, with the proviso I can remove a seen tweet regardless of the column it’s in. For example, if I’ve seen it in column A, I can also remove it from the All Friends column.

      TweetDeck lost this ability when they went to lists, so I’m still using the old column system. At some point I expect that to disappear and I’ll be on the hunt for a new client. Or perhaps TweetDeck will “fix” it.

  • Thanks for the write up!
    As someone who is still fairly ‘green’ when it comes to the overall workload I have here online, I find TweetDeck does me pretty well.

    If, however, my workload should increase, I have a great reference here for why I should consider HootSuite.

    I have heard, however, that links with the HootSuite bar or ow.ly links can load slower than other links? Would this be the analytics capturing link-load data as it’s loading?
    Also – does anyone happen to know the difference in System Resource Usage on a PC?

  • I’m trying it now and do like the inerface better. Any way to use Bit.ly? I’m hoping I don’t have to switch that too. Also, is it possible to schedule mutiple tweets instead of one at a time?
    Great post.

    • I actually use j.mp (run by bit.ly) and I wish there was a way to set it up with Hootsuite but there isn’t that I know of. I just visit the site when I shorten links.

      You can schedule multiple tweets but you have to do them one at a time. I’ve had ~10 in the queue before I think.

  • Where is this Analytics setting? I cant see them in my hootsuite dashboard

    • If you click the owl in the top left you’ll get a drop-down menu, then click Stats > Site Analytics.

  • Nice app. however, i still love socialite, the app which could help me do everything i need, like Facebook, Tweeter and RSS.

  • Ok… I guess I’m sold. I used it for an entire evening and can look past the lack of being able to clear columns.

    Just wrote a quick guide on how to install Hootsuite as a Mac desktop application if anyone is interested…


  • Hi! Nice comparison! I was currently hesitating between different clients…
    I have the same questions as Jamie regarding bit.ly URL shortner and multiple tweets scheduling…
    Also, I was wondering if I could manage 5 different Facebook accounts?
    ==> It is easy to find a tool that would do that with Twitter but it’s such a pain to encounter a tool that enables that for FB as well.

    • I don’t think Hootsuite has a limit on the number of accounts, so I would imagine you could manage 5 FB accounts.

      • There are two versions of Hootsuite the free version (manage up to 5 profiles) and the Pro version that costs about $5.99/mo for unlimited profiles.

  • I also made the power switch from Tweetdeck to Hootsuite. For me, it was a much simpler decision. Hootsuite had essentially everything Tweetdeck had and didn’t bring my computer to a grinding hault. That’s all I needed to make my decision.

    I also love the new Hootsuite running in HTML5. What’s great about Hootsuite too is that it lives in the cloud moreso than Tweetdeck. I use a bunch of different computers everyday between my MacBook and the PC at work and being able to access the service via the Web is crucial, compared to Tweetdeck which was a desktop app with synchronization issues.

  • Great write-up! I’m a fan of HootSuite and your RAM usage point is very valid. I HATE the amount of resources TweetDeck takes up.

    But the biggest disadvantage of switching away from TweetDeck is the absence of notifications. Any time someone @replies or DM’s you, you get an instant notification with TweetDeck, but not with a webapp. It kinda stinks.

    • Yeah, you can turn on “Enable audio/visual notification when I receive new Tweets” which will give you and audible alert but that’s it. More options in this area would be nice.

  • I’ve used Hootsuite from Day One and love it! Glad to have my decision confirmed once again… great post!

  • I’ve been set on Seesmic for a while now. Looks like Hootsuite has recently stepped up their game. I’m always open to trying new things and if hootsuite has a desktop app, I’ll give it a shot.

    Thanks for the great review.

    David, Scribnia

  • What do you think of seesmic?

    • I tried it not too long ago and just wasn’t very happy with it but I’ll have to give it another try for awhile.

  • I’m really not sure about switching, the very limited options for using their own url shortener is annoying, i realise it can show you the stats from inside the app, but i prefer bit.ly’s way to do it by a mile. and the lack of desktop notifications (on windows at least) leaves a lot to be desired…

  • I like Hootsuite for all the reasons you cite. One thing that makes me crazy, and to be fair is Twitter’s fault and not Hootsuite, is that the ‘new’ retweets (that’s what I still call it but it was implemented a year ago) don’t show up in your columns. They show up in your home feed but not in Lists or Mentions.
    I love using Google Chrome’s feature to make an application,. That way Hootsuite just shows up on my desktop and has it’s own window. Also, love the Fix Hootsuite Greasemonkey script (http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/62909) lets you fit more columns on the screen and other goodness.

  • Well, I like both of them and jump from one to another from time to time..

    I am used to hootsuite and love it so it’s my main app for managing twitter accounts. However, there’s one negative thing: hootsuite doesn’t offer a desktop app for PC…

    To those talking about cleared columns, new (updated) version of hootsuite shows a “border” between loaded last time and freshly loaded tweets, which is really easy to notice and for me it does it’s job well.

  • I have been a HootSuite user for a while now and it was amazing back in the day. But the new overhaul really put it over the top.

    Crazy not to give this a look.

  • What about keyboard shortcuts for navigating through tweets? I looked at HootSuite and couldn’t find any which totally killed the idea of switching.

    • Shift + Enter now sends tweets but I don’t know of any other shortcuts. That’d be a nice addition if they don’t have them implemented yet.

  • Nice write-up. I’m new to this social-networking stuff and trying to figure out what HootSuite can do. Thanks for the detailed information about both apps.

  • Nice, I’ll probably still use both. I agree with TweetDeck just eating resources on computers.

  • Thanks for this post, I’ve seen HootSuite before but haven’t ever try it out. It seems to be a pretty good alternative when I’m not on my home computer and it actually runs even on Nokia N900 :)
    But I’m still preferring TweetDeck when I’m home, there’s just some much useful functions in it, e.g. for filtering columns. And personally I haven’t noticed any significant eating of resources yet.

  • Been using TweetDeck for a long time but i’ll give Hootsuite a week to convince me. Sofar there are a couple of things i’m surely missing:

    – No growl notification (TD had it’s own annoying system for that) for new tweets / updates.

    – No idea who’s following me without going to my own twitterpage.

    – Slow. The tabs are a nice touch, but switching them is friggin slow. Especially for apps like these i would’ve liked something a lot more snappy.

    – As mentioned before, the url shortener is kinda limited in options.

    I’m going to see how this pans out, but i might just try Socialite in a few hours/days as well. I’m not a big fan of AIR because of the resourcehog that it is, but i’m not a big fan of Fluid either. Sure you can emulate a webapp into a native app but if i get menu’s all the options better be relevant to the app itself.

    Anyone know what the difference is between the paid and free app for the iphone though ? Ever since the official Twitter app started crashing on my first gen OS3.x iPhone i’m looking for something to replace it but haven’t found anything yet :(

  • I started using HootSuite a couple of days ago and I am in love =) Makes working online so much easier!

  • You make a hell of an argument! I just tried out the Google Analytics integration and was drooling.

    I love tweetdeck, but the main reason I dont use it cause its tied to the laptop i spent 20 minutes installing it on.

    Also, I think the hootsuite andrioid app is the best for twitter. Anyone disagree?

  • This entry makes me feels like I also should go for Hootsuite. Currently I’m using Seesmic but I should give Hootsuite a try as well. Thanks Jarel!

  • Useful review thanks

  • Furthermore, the Hootsuite iPhone App now even supports check-in with Foursquare. That’s a great feature, and maybe its the 11th reason for switching to Hootsuite 😉

    • hi i used tweetdeck on my Sony ericsson eperia x10 mini pro because i liked the notification i can get from fb and twitter as for some reason i dont even have twitter on my phone and no notifications from fb or downloaded twitter. but i got my 1st bill and it was well high as it has a constent internet on therfore i went miles over my 1gb usage – which is really rare for me!! does hootsuit use alot of data and make me go over my bill again?? and do u get notifications and is fb on it too??

  • Im interested scheduling post and in uploading fine art images. Tweetdeck no uses an app that (arty frog or something) that surrounds the uploaded image with advertisements. YIKES!! the exact WRONG message. Twitgoo is the best app I’ve found for tweeting imagery, it provides analytics also. I will give Hootsuite a go and see how that flies. Any other suggestions?
    Thank You

  • No, no and no … with HootSuite Firefox use over 500Mb of RAM +MAC outlook and philosophy is NICE and SMOOOOOTH design BUT HootSuite, for now, is just ugly web service.
    TweetDeck rules ;*

  • Thanks for the info! I’m actually replacing my TweetDeck with HootSuite right now.

  • I just now set up hootsuite in IE … then switched to FireFox and now I cannot login to HS on FF? no help googling the topic … any suggestions?

  • Just started Hootsuite (previously used Tweetdeck). LOVE all of it except that I can only get 4 columns on my screen at once, even sliding the little toggle all the way. This may be too annoying to continue with :-( There is apparently no other way to adjust column width.

  • Try TweetTwain, in addition to the above features, you can integrate with your database too, thus your internal applications.

  • i was a tweetdeck fan and like you when i started with hootsuite i wasn’t sure about it, but it wasn’t long before i’d changed my mind. now tweetdeck just looks wrong! i love that i can tab things so certain kinds of lists can be together and easy to access, and the syncing with the iphone app is infinitely better than on tweetdeck, in fact it was constant syncing problems in tweetdeck that made me switch to hootsuite in the first placea.

  • Thanks for the great info. I have a novice question that I can’t find the answer for. Hoping you can help. I can easily add tabs and streams, but I CANNOT figure out how to delete streams (without deleting the entire tab). That seems pretty elementary but I’m stumped. Any help you can give would be so appreciated.

    • To accomplish that you would click the down arrow to view your stream’s menu, then click Delete Stream. http://drp.ly/nnlC+ Hope that helps! :)

  • Hey Jarel,

    I could just go and check this out for myself, but I thought I’d strike up a conversation instead (this is about being social after all!)

    I’m interested in the Team Collaboration HootSuite offers – how does that work? Could I invite random twitterers to post tweets onto my account for a given period..? It would be really handy if I (for example) wanted someone to represent @activetuts at an event and report live as things happen..

    Thanks for the article :)

    • Hey Ian!

      In Hootsuite if you click the little owl in the top left, then navigate to Settings > My Organization, you’ll be able to add team members. http://drp.ly/ksfh+ You can add a new team member via email or via existing member, add a message and select the social networks they have access to (if you use Hootsuite for more than one account). http://drp.ly/xgXM+

      You’ll have to remove team members when you’re done allowing them access. Unfortunately, however, Hootsuite is moving to a paid plan system and I’m not sure how that works with team members (collaborators). Hope that helps! :)

  • Just wondered if your opinion is any different now that HootSuite has started charging for most of the features you listed in your review?

    • Yup, it certainly is. I’ve been mulling over a post covering my thoughts on this topic in relation to other, similar, social media apps. Stay tuned! 😉

  • Well, I’m sold on HootSuite now! Thank you for the info!

  • Yep have converted across to Hootsuite. Is there a way to setup alerts for search phrases? Not so much just streams but an ‘alert’.

  • Can you please explain how to install Hootsuite at a Nokia N900? Thanks, respectfully yours,

  • I too made the switch from TweetDeck (AIR) to HootSuite (chrome) because of resources. To me TweetDeck has a nicer interface than HootSuite, but HootSuite is much leaner. Its interface is nice but it’s missing two key things I liked: a “new followers” column and the ability to delete tweets.

  • TweetDeck has another major advantage I forgot to mention. It uses the newer API so new tweets appear instantaneously.

  • I just made the jump to hootsuite also. Was missing out on an awesome set of tools/aops.

  • I like Hootsuite too, but recently it’s going crazy and publishing the same tweet and Facebook posting every hour on the hour. Help!

  • I just started using Hootsuite today!!

  • I used Tweetdeck a long time ago and thought I’d get into it again but, once installed, I can’t log in. I spent hours researching, trying different things, banging my head on a wall and finally uninstalled it (for the third time) and installed Hootsuite. Works like a charm! Now I just have to learn all about it :)

  • Im using hootsuite and it’s great!

  • Jarel, thanks for your post “10 Reasons I’m Switching from TweetDeck to HootSuite”.

    I did not consider System Resource Usage before until I read your post. Your screen captures clearly reinforce your points. Thanks!

    David Spencer
    Ontario, Canada


  • I was doing some research on social media dashboards and found this post very helpful.
    Thank you

  • I’ve been using HootSuit for about a month or two and, recently, I no longer see any profile photos of people. It’s just a grayed-out box. Any thoughts on why?

  • I switched from Hootsuite to Tweetdeck Web by a reason that is worth a thousand: Tweetdeck Web does not limit me in the service.

  • Hootsuite keeps sending own ads with EVERY tweet and every FB post, even on paid account. I switched to hootsuite, still looking for other software. Hootsuite is nice to use, but I won’t pay for branding Hootsuite, that is just awful.

  • I on the other hand am very new to all this complicated stuff but I did hear on a youtube tutorial Tweedeck or similar is better than basic Twitter. Why is this and if I switch I presume i lose my background Twitter design that was a pain to get right. Do I get to at least make my logo visible? Any simple advice much appreciated, I need to really get to grips with this kind of stuff :)