Friday, October 7, 2011

HootSuite Support Issues

I recently posted a comparison of TweetDeck vs HootSuite.  Here is an update to that post.

I've been having issues with posting to Facebook multiple times from HootSuite.  As you know I tend to post a lot when I'm at various events.  A few weeks ago I was at the launch of the GRAIL space craft at Kennedy Space Center.  I was posting a lot and kept getting errors when posting to Facebook from HootSuite.  I could post to Twitter fine but not to Facebook.  It appeared that Facebook would only allow me to post so many times in a row and then it would block me for a certain period of time.

I only had this issue with HootSuite.  From TweetDeck I was able to post to both Twitter and Facebook as many times as I wanted in as short a period of time as I wanted without issue.

I'm a HootSuite Pro user due to the number of accounts I manage so I'm paying for this service.  That also means I get support.  They closed my first ticket on this issue without a resolution so I opened it up again.  Below is what they said.  They basically repeated themselves and said it isn't there fault despite the fact that this only happens with their app.

In the mean time when I'm doing a lot of posting, as I will be doing next week at the White House, Capitol Hill and NASA HQ I will probably have to use TweetDeck so that I can post without getting blocked.


Support Ranger, Oct-07 10:49 (PDT):
Hi Jonathan,
We do know that this is a result of Facebook's rate limiting. At the moment, we do not know what the exact amount of posts that triggers the rate limiting, but we do know this occurs. Do note that the rate limiting is not result of using HootSuite, but it is a result of sending a certain amount of messages to your Facebook profile.
As Facebook's API is not something HootSuite controls, we can not adjust the amount of messages you are able to send within a certain period of time.
At this time we suggest that you reduce the amount of Facebook messages you send out in a given period of time, and space out these posts in longer increments.
Thank you for using HootSuite,

Jonathan Smith, Oct-05 17:21 (PDT):
Thanks for the response and confirmation that Facebook has a limit but isn't public about what triggers it. That is very helpful.
However that doesn't explain why HootSuite gets blocked but I can switch over to TweetDeck and get my messages to go through just fine. If Facebook has a limit I would think it would apply to all apps using the API and not just to HootSuite so once my account was blocked from posting via HootSuite that same block should apply to TweetDeck if it is a function of the API. I have never had an issue posting in rapid fire fashion via TweetDeck.
Again, I appreicate your response and that does help but in some ways it creates more questions than it solves. Does TweetDeck us a different API that is not limited?

Support Captain, Oct-05 16:55 (PDT):
Facebook does rate limit the amount of posts you are able to send during the day. At the moment, we do not know what the exact amount of posts that triggers the rate limiting, but we do know this occurs. Do note that the rate limiting is not result of using HootSuite, but it is a result of sending a certain amount of messages to your Facebook profile.

If you would like Facebook to give you further insight into this matter, please visit Facebook Help Center:
Do note that because HootSuite does not build Facebook's API, we can only provide service as is.
Thank for using HootSuite!

Jonathan Smith, Oct-05 16:38 (PDT):
It doesn't appear that I'm communicating effectively as I've answered all these questions before. Let me try to sum up what I've already said in the tickets.
1. I can post to Facebook, it just stops working when I post 3 or 4 times in a row and then I have to wait an unspecified amount of time before I can post again. So when I travel and am posting frequently it fails for periods of time after 3-4 posts in a row, within a minute of each other. To get around this I have to use TweetDeck which allows me to post over and over again with out issue.
2. The error message is just a red bar that says Trouble Sending to Social Network. When I send to Twitter it always works but when I send too many times in a row to Facebook I get this. After waiting for an unspecified amount of time it lets me do it again but after a few in a row it stops. The only error message is Trouble Sending to Social Network, no details or anything.
3. It seems to me as though HootSuite has a limit on the number of times you can post to Facebook within a time period and once that is violated it makes you wait for an amount of time before you can post again.
4. On a normal day I post to Facebook 8-10 times but they are not in a row. When traveling and at events i'm covering I'll post back to back to back posts and that is where the problem appears.
5. I have done everything asked of me in the tickets to try to solve this. I believe this to be a HootSuite problem that needs corrected. Resetting my account yet again or disconnecting from Facebook and reconnecting yet again won't solve this as I've done that and the problem keeps happening. Facebook states they have no limits that would cause this and I should check with my vendor.
I apologize for being so blunt but I hope you can understand my frustration - especially when the ticket is marked closed and no solution has been provided.

Support Ranger, Oct-05 12:29 (PDT):
Hi Jonathan,
Are you still unable to post to your Facebook account?
Are you seeing any error messages in your Facebook Pending stream? Are you seeing any red messages at the Past Scheduled section of Publisher? If a message has not been sent, there should an explanation in both views for why this is the case.
Thank you in advance.

Jonathan Smith, Oct-05 12:18 (PDT):
This reqeust was closed but I don't see any reason why it was closed. I have not had the problem lately as I haven't been posting as much however next week I'll be traveling again and posting a lot so I need to know that my paid HootSuite app is going to work and reliably post to both Twitter and Facebook every time. Otherwise I'm going to consider cancelling my paid account and using TweetDeck. Even though it is lacking in featurs it relaibly allows me to post to both Twitter and Facebook all the time regardless of how many posts I make.
It is a bit frustrating that I did everything you reqeusted, no resolution was made available, and yet the ticket was closed.