TweetDeck Alternatives for Android and iOS Power Users

TweetDeck for Android, iOS and Air

When Twitter abandoned TweetDeck for Android and iOS last week to focus on the web version of the popular Twitter client, I was not surprised. If you look at the frequency of updates since Twitter acquired TweetDeck, the mobile apps were last updated on 4th quarter of 2011 but the HTML 5 and Chrome app managed to get regular updates. It seems they have neglected Android and iOS clients completely from the beginning. So for Twitter to say that “over the past few years, we\’ve seen a steady trend towards people using TweetDeck on their computers and Twitter on their mobile devices,” is a well-coordinated plan. More users would have used TweetDeck on mobile if only Twitter exerted enough effort on its development. Obviously the priority is still on Twitters\’ very own client.

The Air version was upgraded to HTML 5 (basically the same as Chrome) when Twitter acquired TweetDeck. It is not the old TweetDeck Air that we used to love or hate. Version 0.38.2 is the last Adobe Air version.

I didn\’t miss the Adobe Air version too much because I stopped using it years ago. I don\’t know why some people can\’t move on. The only feature that I miss in  TweetDeck Air, which is still useful today, is the \”[email protected] from friends to others\” feature that enables you to see all conversation even if you are not following the friend of your friends. If you want to stalk your friend or monitor all conversation happening on Twitter then you\’ll need it but why meddle in between conversations when it doesn\’t concern you? I don\’t have a strong opinion on why you should bother so I am fine without it.

\"TweetDeck

TweetDeck HTML 5 and TweetDeck for Chrome is the best Twitter client for desktop because it doesn\’t hog your computer resources and most of the features of the original TweetDeck Air is still there with additional innovations like the combined timeline columns for multiple accounts.

TweetDeck Replacement for Android

I consider myself a Twitter power user. I have several accounts and I seldom use the main timeline as my source of updates. Since I use lists to segment the people I am following it is  also the main reason why I don\’t use Twitter for Android as my main Twitter client. It seems that Twitter does not highlight the importance of lists anymore but it is one of the most useful feature Twitter ever has. I rely too much on lists that I consider apps without an option to remove the \”home\” timeline, to replace with other lists, inferior compared to those apps supporting this feature. TweetDeck doesn\’t have the option to remove the main timeline but at least there is an option to stop it from updating. I think the only reason I keep on using TweetDeck is due to its individual column refresh interval and alert settings. The HTML 5 and Chrome app inherited this feature but for me, it is much more useful in the mobile app.

As a back-up plan I have been using other great TweetDeck alternatives since last year.

These are my top three:

These three are very easy to customize and they have lots of features perfect for meticulous Twitter users like me.

Boid has a default Holo dark theme which is my preferred theme in all my Android apps Ubersocial and Plume can be customized to have dark themes similar to Holo. I would like to include Hootsuite in my preferred Twitter client for Android but the Android version is unstable in my experience; it pales in comparison to the iOS version.

TweetDeck Replacement for iOS

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Speaking of iPhone, I am not a heavy user of Twitter in iPhone or iPad partly because there is no free Twitter app that is good enough for me in iPhone or iPad and partly because I can do so much more in Android twitter clients that there is no need for me to use any Twitter on iOS. However if I would choose a free Twitter client that would be Hootsuite and for the paid client I\’ll choose Tweetbot.

How about you? What will be your primary Twitter client for mobile?

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App.net Free Account Available Now – Who Has an Invite?

App.net Free Account

At first I was surprised that you can already register an App.net free account when its goal from the beginning is to offer an ad-free service. It was made possible by offering premium paid-only service, at least initially.

Freemium model usually offset the cost of operations by displaying ads to non-paying users or by selling the data generated from the service to other business. There are many ways to carry out a freemium model so it does not mean App.net will start doing one of those things I mentioned.

So how does an ad-free network where users already pay $36 yearly or $5 monthly to use the service benefit with the new App.net freemium model?

Freemium is the way to go

You only pay the service because either it is so good and important or you need more features not available in the free plan.

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To understand the switch from premium to freemium model you have to go back and read this article from The Verge where it details how App.net expanded its current paid offerings by offering cloud storage on top of its social network. All paid packages now offers 10 Gb of cloud storage  since late January this year.

Even when you look back at the first project announcement App.net is heavily inspired by services with freemium model namely Github and Evernote.

How to register free App.net account?

In order to get the App.net free tier account you must have an invite first. Free tier account users are similar to paid accounts but limited to following 40 users, file storage is much smaller – 500 MB,  and the max upload file size is only 10 MB.

While some paid user may think of downgrading to free account this could make App.net more popular because now even paid users can lure more of their friends and family inside the social network without any obligation.

This will also benefit the community because only the trusted people will be invited greatly reducing the risk of spam. Also with the limitation of free account, spamming or nonsense rambling seems futile. As free users hit the limitation there is a likelihood someone will upgrade just like how Evernote and Dropbox users upgrade to paid plans.

I am not an App.net user yet but I am interested on the service since last year. This might be the best time to try it out. Who knows, I might get an invitation sooner or later. If you are in App.net already and have a free invite to spare, please contact me directly here.

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I\’m in Top 5% Influencers According to Kred. Now What?

I got an email from Kred two weeks ago and I was amused to know that I am in the Top Kred 5% Influencer (Global). I\’m not even trying to collect Kred but someone must be noticing.

Kred Influence is the measure of what others do because of you.

PeopleBrowsr published details here on how they compute the scores. The beauty of the system is that every points count. Everything is transparent. You can check how your scores added up and how your actions influenced others.

Take note that Kred uses a double logarithmic scale so if you got a 10%, 5% or 1 % Top Influential Badge, it means that you really are somewhere at the top of the scale.

So what good is it to be top Kred influencer anyway?

Unlike Klout where I get international Klout Perks from time to time, I have not experienced any Kred rewards yet.

I\’m not disappointed. After all, I didn\’t join these services to get a prize. Both Klout and Kred can be used for certain metrics and how you use those numbers depend entirely on you.

For someone based in the Philippines, Kred only gives me a bragging right and an arbitrary number to post in my blog profile. It is cool because it looks like a gold trophy. It doesn\’t deter me from engaging  my community. Actually, it inspires me to engage more with my community because I know that I am sharing something with value.

Again, who knows? I might get a Top Kred 1% Influencer badge next time and that might become my stepping stone on becoming the next big thing in online brand endorsement  (even product management) here in the Philippines.

Check my Kred profile here and don\’t forget to send a +Kred.

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New Crowdbooster – No More Free Plan in 2013

I\’m surprised no one has posted in my group about the new Crowdbooster yet. Maybe due to the holidays?

Well, it\’s nearly the end of 2012 and before I post my 2012 summary let this be my last social media post for the year.

If you don\’t know it yet, the new Crowdbooster is getting rid of the freemium model. And they announced it 2 days after Christmas. Just so happened that I did a short review of CrowdBooster in YouTube a day before Christmas. So now that review is quiet irrelevant already because there is no more free plan.  I don\’t know if they could have picked a better timing for the announcement but ditching a free plan is always hard for the first adopters of the service.

Starting March 1, 2013 the free plan will no longer exist and in order to continue using Crowdbooster you must upgrade to a paid plan, starting at $9. At the moment there is no $9 plan posted in their pricing guidelines yet. Let\’s hope that other perks, such as additional account slots, will be included when you upgrade to the cheapest paid plan.

I have been using this great tool for a while but I am not so vocal about it until lately. They should know what they are doing because Crowdbooster is changing its business model and all the risks must have been studied first beforehand.

It\’s been a great free service and I believe anyone who finds this helpful for their business would upgrade.

What do you think of this recent announcement by Crowdbooster? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Twitter vs. Instagram – The Unanimous Decision

I tested  the newly updated Twitter app in iOS and Android since yesterday and right away I knew that Twitter is far behind the competition.

The short answer to which is better, Twitter vs. Instagram — is obviously Instagram by unanimous decision. In every review you\’ll read most pundits reason that Twitter is only following the footsteps of Instagram which made a new category of social network full of filtered photos.

Since I have already established that Instagram is still better, what\’s cool in Twitter\’s own photo filter features anyway?

Twitter vs. Instagram Filters

Twitter is using Aviary to process their photo manipulations… and they only have 8 filters at the moment. In contrast, Instagram has a whooping 18 free filters. Comparing Twitter filters vs. Instagram filters, Twitter is only using bare minimum at the moment and not even using full power of Aviary SDK. Aviary has a total of 30 filters and 12 of them are free while the other 18 are available via in-app purchase. Not to mention Aviary has more options to adjust brightness, warmth, contrast, saturation and sharpness. Maybe Twitter is only paying for the bare minimum features just to see how their users will use photo filters. Depending on the result, it\’s possible that Twitter might roll out new filters in the near future too.

Below, I have used an image that is vivid enough and has a fair distribution of highlight (white) and shadows (black), as well as mid-tones (gray). You can see how the picture is enhanced using all the Twitter photo filters.

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The interface  is clean and very intuitive.

The first button is for  \”auto-enhance\”, the right is crop option where you can crop and just pictures similar to the square ratio similar to Instagram, and the center button is the filter options.

I like that you can have a bird\’s-eye view of the filters and choose which filters look best immediately. You can\’t do this in Instagram because it forces you to select a filter one at a time only.

Instagram and Twitter War

Since Instagram remove the Twitter card support, you can only see link inside your Twitter feed. No more pictures in the stream like it used to be. Some 3rd party apps still support the embedded photos including Twitter\’s very own Tweetdeck but we don\’t know how long it will support it.

What\’s great about Twitter picture service is that is shown in embedded tweets.

Instagram on the other hand will only look like just any another links.

Embed Work-around?

Well, if you like Instagram pictures so much you can still use Instagram as your primary photo filter app, and then attach it to your Twitter post manually. There is an extra step and it will result to uploading the photo twice. One in  Instagram, then another one in Twitter as a duplicate.

I don\’t like the minimal choices of photo filters in Twitter now but the good news is, you can use any photo filter apps that you want and share it in Twitter. For instance, if you are one of the Instagram haters, there\’s plenty of choices around – including Aviary which has more advance features available in both Android and iOS.

If you are looking for ways to embed Instagram photos in your blog, you\’re lucky because WordPress 3.5 supports Instagram oEmbed. I haven\’t tested it yet but it\’s included in WordPress change logs as a new feature.

I have included the official Twitter photo filters video below. Let me know what you think of Twitter vs. Instagram and its short-term/long-term effect in your online community.

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Timely by Demandforce is Shutting Down

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Aside from Buffer, there is one free tool that I keep on using to schedule timely updates on Twitter or Facebook. That is Timely.is by Demandforce. This morning I just received the announcement that Timely is shutting down on November 16, 2012 and it saddened me.

Timely.is is unique because it figures out what time the posts should be scheduled unlike Buffer or Hootsuite which needs you to determine the posting time manually or by means of 3rd-party app. Timely figures out the posting time automatically with its special algorithm.

From the announcement, it is clear that Demandforce is only getting rid of the free version of Timely because Demandforce customers still has access to a version of Timely.

If you don\’t remember Timely.is was acquired by Demandforce last year through its acquisition of Flowtown, the brainchild of Ethan Bloch.

What if Demandforce offered premium account for Timely? I\’m sure there are power users out there willing to pay money  to schedule more posts with Timely. I don\’t want to second-guess what\’s the best decision for this service. I am just upset that they have to retire it.

Below is the announcement from Demandforce:

Dear Timely User,

Timely started as a fun side project back in 2010.

Since then it has grown to help tens of thousands of people publish millions of Tweets and Facebook updates.

We\’re proud of that. And happy we could help you manage your hectic world of social media.

Unfortunately we haven\’t been giving Timely much attention recently as we\’ve been directing our efforts towards Demandforce\’s paid products.

So we\’ve made the hard decision to retire Timely.

As of today we have stopped accepting new signups.

If you already have an account you will still be able to sign in and use Timely until November 16th.

When we launched Timely almost 2 years ago there were no other tools that would automatically figure out the best time for a Tweet to go out.

Thankfully there are some great alternatives today such as Buffer or Hootsuite.

I should also note that a version of Timely is still available to Demandforce customers.

Thank you for being a part of the Timely story,

Ethan Bloch, Co-Creator of Timely

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Social Media Customer Service Fail

This article is a guest post written by Sean Clark.

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As a business you can choose whether to take part in social media or not.

Whether you do take part or you don\’t, it won\’t alter the fact that the conversation will continue on regardless.

By taking an active role you have the opportunity to shape the conversation, make a difference and stand out from the competition.

Social media can be a very cost effective channel for customer service, when implemented correctly.

Which is why so many companies have embraced social media, creating accounts on various channels to provide a gateway for their customers and potential customers to reach them.

Nobody\’s Home

There is something worse than not taking part though.

That is to open a social media channel, and by doing so inviting customers to use it to reach out to you, then when they do, totally ignore them!

This is akin to advertising a telephone support number and never picking up when it rings, not even an answer-phone message.

This is really happening.

Customer Service Fail

Mark Shaw has gone to some length to highlight this phenomenon on Twitter with his EngagementIndex. His aim? To raise the customer service bar.

Mark states on the website:

\”Twitter is a game changer for businesses. Through EngagementIndex I want businesses to be able to track themselves so that they can see how they are performing, see if the resources they have allocated are sufficient and aimed in the right places…\”

Socially Devoted

On Twitter consumers may attempt to talk to you even though you may not have set up an account. When it comes to Facebook generally consumers will approach you via your Facebook page.

Yes the page your company set up! So why then are companies failing to respond?

SocialBakers, who provide a social analytics platform, have launched their Socially Devoted website to draw attention to the below-average customer care in social media, specifically on Facebook.

Their aim is \”…to encourage brands to shift their strategy towards more open and responsive social marketing.\”

SocialBakers have produced the infographic below highlighting Facebook Page response rates by industry:
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Who\’s Socially Devoted To You?

If you\’ve set up a presence on social media with the aim of using it to promote your business, don\’t forget it works both ways.

So when customers use social media to reach out to you, ensure you\’re there and respond accordingly.

\"Sean

Sean Clark

Passionate Web Geek and Chess fan, blogging about Twitter, WordPress, iPad, SEO and Google. Sean helps startups leverage Social Media and Search to accelerate their business growth.

Check out Sean\’s latest online course: How To Use Twitter To Build Authority In Your Market Sector http://seanclark.com/using-twitter

Website: http://seanclark.com
Twitter: SeanClark

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