HootSuite, which started as a way to navigate your Twitter stream, is broadening its grasp on the social web — it’s adding LinkedIn updates and letting you schedule status updates on the social networks it tracks.
The idea is to become a social media dashboard, so you can update your Facebook, LinkedIn, Ping.fm and Twitter status and track what friends are doing on each network directly from HootSuite instead of visiting each web destination. After LinkedIn opened up its platform yesterday, a number of social media clients including Tweetdeck are adding LinkedIn status updates this week. HootSuite’s Facebook integration lets you see comments in addition to status updates.
The Vancouver-based company behind HootSuite, Invoke Media, also added Twitter lists: you can either import ones you’ve already made or create them using the client’s drag-and-drop feature.
So how does it stack up against the other big clients like Tweetdeck, Seesmic and Brizzly? HootSuite is one of the more professionally oriented social media clients — the kind of user that would want to schedule updates across several networks would probably be a brand or small business. HootSuite also has built-in analytics so a user can track how many others have clicked on links they’ve shared.
Each of the clients has their own comparative strengths. Tweetdeck is fast as an desktop application based on Adobe Air. Seesmic has several mobile apps on Blackberry and Android phones and has integrated Twitter’s new location feature. Brizzly is more consumer-oriented, and has some nice design flourishes like in-line photos and videos and explanations for trends.
VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation
, and we’ll share the data.