Saturday, July 7, 2012

HootSuite's Achille's Heel, part 2

Back in October I posted this article relating to a key flaw I saw in how HootSuite interacted with Facebook.  Since then the issues expressed in that post have only gotten worse so I decided to open another ticket on the matter with HootSuite.  I figured I might as well get my $5.99 a month worth as it seemed I was pushing the envelope on what HootSuite was able to do.

Here is the latest reply from HootSuite support.

Rob F., Jul 06 16:43 (PDT):
Hello Jonathan,
Thank you for your patience as we have looked into this issue.
Between discussing this error with our development team and communicating with our partners at Facebook, we are able to verify that you are experiencing this error precisely because the quantity of postings that you are making is breaking the limit imposed by Facebook.
The error message is generated by Facebook and is adjusted automatically in response to how users are using their API. These limits are created dynamically by Facebook itself and there is no easy way to have them raised as they are correlated to how you are using their software.
According to our research, the limits are generated on a per application level. This means that their algorithms measure posts based on quality (in terms of how many times people like or interact with the posts themselves) versus the quantity of posts with little or no engagement.
Since this limit is issued on a per user and per day basis, the best practice would be to attempt to limit your postings throughout a day to match the amount of interaction that you are receiving.
Please note that because Facebook's API is maintained by Facebook, we cannot pinpoint exactly why you're encountering this error. If you'd like further insight into why it's happening, we strongly encourage you to contact Facebook Help Center regarding specific reasons why this error is occurring for your particular postings.
This ticket will now be marked as solved. If you have additional questions regarding this error message, or about Facebook's API in general, we suggest contacting Facebook themselves regarding this matter.
If you have any additional HootSuite related issues that we can help with please do not hesitate to contact us; we are here to help!
Thanks for using HootSuite!
Rob | HootSuite Help | @HootSuite_Help | HootSuite University -

This again confirms that HootSuite, operating on a Software as a Service platform is aggregating all posts to Facebook through their single API.  As a result the Facebook algorithm they mentioned is viewing posts from the application first, and the user second.  As such I only have partial control over when Facebook won't accept any more posts from HootSuite.  I don't have this problem when I use TweetDeck as Facebook views me as a single user only from TweetDeck.  I have posted as many times as 50 in a single hour without issue using TweetDeck.

Seeing as this issue is with HootSuite only and that their platform probably won't be changed to correct this I find myself shopping for an app I can use on my iOS devices that will allow me to post to both Twitter and Facebook without limits.  On my desktop I use TweetDeck for Chrome and even the old Adobe Air TweetDeck client without issues but TweetDeck has abandoned the iOS platform with no recent iPhone or iPad apps.

A recent development between Twitter and LinkedIn also means if I want posts to go to LinkedIn I need to use an app that will post to all 3 networks.  On my desktop HootSuite and the Adobe Air TweetDeck app can do that but on my iOS devices I'm limited to HootSuite.

It's 2012 - how many more years we do have to wait for a single social media app allows for cross-posting, without limits, helps avoid any disputes between social networks sharing information, and runs with all features on all platforms?

If social media is indeed the future and my next refrigerator will be on Twitter and able to text me when I'm almost out of milk then someone needs to figure this out.

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