Twitter had approximately 200 million users who collectively sent around 400 million tweets a day in March 2013. One of the main advantages of using Twitter is that you can join instant, real-time public dialogue. But sometimes it pays to spread your Tweets out so your followers don’t get overwhelmed with messages. Twitter doesn’t let you schedule your tweets, but there are some third-party applications that do.
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This is a simple, elegant app that doesn’t require any integration with your Twitter account or local software installation. All you need to do is sign into Twuffer with your Twitter credentials. Once in, make sure you select the GMT time zone, otherwise you could be scheduling tweets to go out when most of your audience is asleep. One drawback of this free service is that you can only schedule tweets to go out on the hour. In the dynamic, by-the-second world of Twitter, an hour is a long time.
Later Bro is very similar to Twuffer, but it also lets you post to Facebook as well as Twitter. Like Twuffer, you don’t need to integrate the app or download any software, it’s all web-based. Just sign in with your Twitter details. One advantage Later Bro has over Twuffer is that you can edit scheduled tweets. So if you schedule a tweet, then spot something you want to change, you can do so. With Twuffer, you have to delete scheduled tweets and start again.
Future Tweets requires Twitter validation, so you can’t just sign in with your Twitter credentials and get cracking. The interface is easy to navigate. One big advantage of Future Tweets over Twuffer and Later Bro is that you can make it appear that you’re sending real-time tweets, rather than scheduled tweets because your tweet doesn’t include any reference to the scheduling app that you’re using.
Hootsuite offers lots of functionality, including analytics, tracking and the ability to synchronise your website with Twitter, so new posts or articles automatically go out via Twitter (reference 4). You can also use Hootsuite on your smartphone. It of course, Hootsuite lets you schedule your tweets. However, if that’s all you want to achieve, the integration and authentication process may be a little protracted for the small benefit. Hootsuite is most suited to people who manage multiple accounts and require lots of functionality.
Like Hootsuite, this Twitter-owned package lets you manage multiple accounts with a single log-in, analyse your activity and synchronise blog posts (reference 5). Naturally, scheduling is part of the offering but unless you want to go through the process of installingg the software to your machine, you may be better to suited to one of the more basic apps.
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