Twitter client HootSuite, which makes it easier for people and businesses to manage their brands on the microblogging network, opened up to public beta today. HootSuite seems well-tailored to companies that need to track conversations online and have multiple people manage a single Twitter account. It lets you add as many columns as you want for tracking search terms on Twitter and get detailed analytics on how many people have clicked on links you’ve shared.
“We’re focused on power user functionality,” said Ryan Holmes, CEO and founder of Invoke Media, the company behind HootSuite. “We don’t want to confine you to any one interface.”
Since launching in December, HootSuite has become the sixth-most popular way to interact with Twitter, behind iPhone app and Mac client Tweetie and TweetDeck, according to TwitStat. In fact, the White House uses it.
With HootSuite, you can invite other people to edit tweets without handing over password information, so more than one person can be responsible for a company’s brand. HootSuite also owns the ow.ly URL shortener so it can provide statistical feedback on how many people clicked on links shared through Twitter and the geographical breakdown of visitors. Another useful function is scheduled tweeting for company announcements.
Like competitor TweetDeck, you can create groups of Twitter accounts to follow. Say you want to follow tweets from only your co-workers or tweets from local foodies, you can put their Twitter usernames into a group and create a column around that subject.
Invoke Media was founded in 2000 and has seven employees working on HootSuite. The company is currently looking for a Series A round of funding for the product.