I’ve written before about how much I love HootSuite, and that the only thing that stops me from rating it as the perfect Twitter client is that it doesn’t allow users to choose which URL shortener they want. Instead, you’re stuck with ow.ly, which has some nice stats and things like that, but because of the frame ow.ly adopts is pretty unpopular with a lot of users.
End result? Your retweets suffer. Massively.
But hacks are never ideal. HootSuite has a big-enough user base – and is close enough to being perfect – that a premium version of the software could be well-received by a lot of fans, particularly the Twitter power-users and brands that love the superb features of the client.
For a few dollars a month – and I mean a few – HootSuite Pro could give us:
- A choice of URL shortener (of course, everybody should go for bit.ly, but having a choice is the way to go) with full integration, including the stats
- More profiles
- Better management of our HootSuite team (i.e., being able to see stats for each)
Of course, this would all sync perfectly with the HootSuite iPhone app (which is highly recommended) as it does now (but you’d lose the ads). It would be nice to see things like Twitter-style retweets appearing in our stream, too.
Where’s the downside? HootSuite gets a revenue stream, and lots of us get what we want.
Why are desktop-based Twitter apps so scared of charging for their fine products? Hasn’t the success of Tweetie et al taught us anything? If you make your client absolutely first class, people will pay. They won’t pay a lot, but enough of them will pay something to make a difference for you. And you can still fund everybody else with adverts and ow.ly.
Here’s the thing: for me, stuff like Facebook and Foursquare implementation within my Twitter client is not important. In fact, I don’t care. If I want Facebook, I’ll go to Facebook.com.
However, if I want Twitter, going to Twitter.com isn’t really the best solution. That’s why I go to HootSuite. But if I have to co-manage HootSuite with bit.ly sidebar (for links) and Twitter.com (for retweets) then the process is broken.
And when somebody comes along who fixes all of this, I, like a ton of other people, will inevitably jump ship. HootSuite’s in a position here to do something really special. Let’s hope they make their move in time.