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Hootsuite, a social networking navigation and management startup, today launched several new collaboration tools targeted at public relations agencies and groups who often work in teams to publish and manage through their various social networking channels, like Twitter and Facebook.

The new collaboration tools are meant to help the group publishing and monitoring process  according to the company’s blog. More specifically, help make sure the process is as easy as possible between agencies, groups and their clients. Valuable time is often lost as groups scramble to figure out who should respond or post what during the day.

Each account will now assign an owner (don’t worry this can be changed relatively easily) which will then assign other team members to the account for publishing and monitoring rights. Each team member assigned to an account will have a different level or authority which will delegate what they can and can’t do. The owner of an account, for example, may be the client contact who will then assign team members from their agencies to publish and monitor from within the account.

Other collaborative tools include the ability for any team member to set up automatic posting through RSS/Atom feeds as well as setting specifics around social network destinations, number of updates and pre-set custom messages.  Another tool added includes the “Reply to All” feature for Twitter allowing team members to quickly and easily send a message to all recipients of a conversation without the timely cut-and-paste process.

Hootsuite is by no means at the front lines of adding features. The company just recently joined the crowded social tracking and managing space. Though the continued push into monitoring and collaborative tools may be a good one as Twitter focuses on it’s own set of tools like the recently purchased Tweetie iPhone application. That move has many developers concerned that the company may be moving in on their turf.

Other competitors include social publishing and monitoring companies like Radian6 and Visible Technologies who already provide users with collaboration capabilities. However, Hootsuite may have a competitive advantage as it already has a concrete user-ship of its desktop and mobile management applications.

The company also noted that assignment tools, those that allow team members to assign a particular task to each other, are in the works and should be launching within a month.  Hootsuite also mentioned a new mobile release, but didn’t give any details.


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