Hootsuite is Awesome…Except for the Sync Thing

*Edit at 5:57pm 4/21/11: I wrote this post early this morning, before the Hootsuite server #fail via Amazon was known. This rant doesn’t apply to that issue, it’s something I’ve been frustrated with for weeks. 

<start rant>

Ok, maybe I’m missing some huge tech issue here, but why on earth can’t Hootsuite sync my web account with my app accounts on my Droid and iPad?

I even talked to them over Twitter a few weeks ago, and they said the only way to update my app information is to reset everything.

Now, I tend to be a pretty anal person and organizing is one of my favorite things to do, so when I spend more than an hour on Hootsuite.com, putting Tweeps into lists and tabs and making everything efficient and pretty, I want that shit to auto-sync to my phone and tablet! I’m using those more than my computer anyways these days.

Gmail does it. Facebook does it. So what’s the problem? If I’m overlooking some honest tech wall, tell me!

It doesn’t help my mood that while I write this, Hootsuite.com is down. Hey, maybe they’re putting a sync thing in! That would be sweet.

<end rant>

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7 responses to “Hootsuite is Awesome…Except for the Sync Thing

  1. I could not agree more with this. I’m trying out HootSuite for the first time today. I tried yesterday but my timing was awful, right in the middle of the biggest Amazon outage ever.

    Still, it’s working now and while the HootSuite app for the iPad looks promising, the web dashboard is gorgeous. It’s exactly what a modern social media aggregation service should be; slick, efficient and intuitive. But if it can’t sync across platforms it has little, aside from its aesthetics, to elevate it above the multiple apps and multiple browser tabs I’m already using.

    There are probably solid technical reasons as to why syncing would be non-trivial. AFAIK services like Twitter provide no means of tracking message status at the account level, so it’s not something HootSuite could just hook into through an API. They’d have to maintain their own status flags for each account, which for hundreds of thousands of users could amount to a significant chunk of storage and processing.

    Having said that, I really hope this is something HootSuite are actively working on rather than something they’ve shelved indefinitely as a potential future project. Because you can bet your bottom dollar someone somewhere IS working on it, and whoever cracks it first will have a massive advantage over the competition.

    • Eleanor Dowling

      Thanks for your comment! I definitely don’t know enough about the down and dirty technical issues involved with syncing the web app to the peripheral apps, so I’m sure there’s a good reason they haven’t done this already…but still! It’s just so annoying! Glad someone else finds it annoying too :)

  2. did you ever learn how to sync hootsuite across multiple computers/devices yet ? – thanks for posting your orig question. i was in the process of trying to research your same issue

    • Hi Matt,

      A talked with one of the Hootsuite help people over Twitter a few months ago and they told me there was no trans-platform syncing available. I haven’t noticed a change in the platform updates since, and I really wish they’d build it in!

  3. Me too! I’ve just signed up to Hootsuite and thought I was being a bit of a technophobe not being able to sync my dashboard to my ipad but now I know better and will stop wasting my time trying to do it! xx

  4. The only Twitter client I’ve found that syncs across devices is Echofon, which is available for iOS, Mac, Windows and (as a Firefox plugin) Linux.

    It has quite an attractive interface, especially the Apple App, but IMO is not nearly as sophisticated as Hootsuite. For my limited Twittering it’s fine, as the ability to sync trumps everything else, but others might find the lack of power-user options limiting.

    Clearly there is a market for this and it surprises me that Twitter still haven’t build some sort of sync/bookmark feature into their API. In the meantime if someone can launch a cross-platform client with the look and features of Hootsuite or MetroTwit and the sync features of Echofon they’ll be onto a real winner.

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