There are literally thousands of apps available through the Android Market and they range from silly games to stock tickers. Some are more useful than others, but if you’re actively engaged in social media, one of the best apps to manage your online social activities is HootSuite. This is no ordinary Twitter client.
For starters, it can handle much more than just Twitter. This is a tool designed to handle your social networking from one convenient location. In addition to Twitter, HootSuite can be used for Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Ping.fm, WordPress, MySpace, and mixi. There are always plans to add more networks and protocols from the HootSuite team, so this list is never quite complete. Not surprisingly, there is support here for multiple accounts, too, though the free version is limited to five social profiles. A HootSuite Pro account is required to get beyond the limit of five.
Works In Tandem With Desktop Client
While you will need to install HootSuite for Android locally on your Android device of choice, the desktop variant does not require a local installation; instead, it runs inside your browser as a web-based app. You get the same kind of functionality, but with a more robust interface.
This also means that, in addition to your account information with the various social networks, you will need to sign up for a free account with HootSuite. When you do, all the information is automatically synchronized between the desktop client and the mobile client. There is an app for iOS too, which will also synchronize with your data.
Additional Features and Functions
For my part, it’s already pretty handy that I’m able to handle my multiple online presences without having to switch between apps. There are other major advantages too.
The main timeline is easy enough to read, but you can also swipe through each of the pages as if they were the “columns” of the desktop client. This includes support for mentions, DMs, lists, and so on. When you tap to reply, you can choose which profile you’d like to use as well.
Like the desktop client, the Android version of HootSuite also allows for more powerful features. For instance, there are image uploads, to be sure, but you can also schedule tweets and Facebook updates into the future. While you can’t manage it from the mobile client, HootSuite also allows for RSS syndication, complete with customization of how you want the updates to be formatted and how frequently the RSS feed should be checked.
Attached images are automatically displayed when a tweet is read in full screen, as is the geotargeting information that comes along with things like Foursquare check-ins. The Twitter “conversation” can be followed too and there is even a mobile browser built into the HootSuite Android client, so links can be opened without opening a separate web browser.
Considering the remarkably robust feature set, HootSuite for Android is easily one of my favorite apps and it’s one that I use every day. The limit to five social networks is a bit of a downer, but the upgrade to a Pro account is only $5.99 a month.