HootSuite Adds Influence And Keyword Filters, User Insights And Announces Premium Paid Packages

Some new updates from HootSuite today, which already was (in my opinion) the closest thing we have to a perfect Twitter client, and with each upgrade gets that little bit better. These new features – which the company has termed social relationship and support tools - aren’t going to change your world, but they’re welcome and for some users will have value.
Filters on Twitter are always useful, and HootSuite has added a choice of two – by influence (based on a user’s Klout score) and keyword. Here’s influence cranked up to a heady Klout rating of 75.

And a keyword search for links:

The former has some use but while I think filters will play an important part in the future of Twitter – if only to cut down the mounting noise (especially in trending topics and searches) – they need to built into Twitter to work properly. If I want to filter something out or in, then really I need to be given the option to make that permanent until I change my mind. Having to do it on the fly is nice, but nowhere near as useful. Especially every single time.
TweetDeck has offered this functionality since day one, of course, and I never really saw it as much more than a novelty on that platform, either. Handy for quick stream-searches, but not much else. As said, filters need to come from Twitter’s end to be a true game-changer.
HootSuite’s new Insights feature provides an overview of a given user’s social presence. An insight, if you will.
For example, here’s Copyblogger’s Brian Clark:

And here’s mine:

What’s that all about? Nice, HootSuite, nice. After all the good work I’ve done for you. You could have just hand-written in something for me like ‘very busy’ or ‘probably on Facebook, too’. Sheesh.
Finally, and really the most exciting bit of news of the lot, HootSuite confirmed that premium accounts are on the way. Don’t worry – they realise this won’t be for everybody.

Keep in mind, HootSuite will remain free for an estimated 95% of users based on current usage patterns. Meanwhile, premium users will enjoy access to extra features, high limits and prioritized support.

But for those who are happy to pay for more, what can they expect for their cash? Well:

  • Unlimited social networks
  • Unlimited RSS feeds
  • Team members on social networks
  • Advanced analytics & reports
  • Expedited support

That’s all very nice, but it isn’t that nice. I hope they throw in custom (bit.ly) URLs, better block management and some other bits and pieces, too.
No news yet on price, but… if that’s all that premium means, then it’d better be very cheap. I absolutely believe there’s a market for a professional, subscription-based Twitter client, but it needs to be absolutely feature-packed and offer services and functions that none of the free clients can possibly match.
And then keep doing it, too.