(Updates at bottom of post) Hootsuite has a new social picker. This is the function that lets users choose which social networks they want to use for a particular message. As a power user, this is a very important feature — I use Hootsuite for general tweets, posts to LinkedIn or Facebook pages, and general promotion of In 30 Minutes guides and other interests. The social picker used to look like this:
Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and all other social networks that you had hooked up to Hootsuite were visible by default. You could select or deselect at will.
Last week, they changed it to this:
Social networks are now hidden in a drop-down menu on the right side of the picker. This makes it far more difficult to select and deselect specific social media accounts — users have to first click the drop-down menu, then select the accounts. For people with lots of accounts, there is scrolling involved.
Why change a user interface element that’s not broken? I asked @hootsuite_help, and got this reply:
— HootSuite Helpers (@HootSuite_Help) June 15, 2013
“Pinning” social networks means setting them up as default choices for Hootsuite. If you click through to their help link, you’ll see that the process is non-intuitive. In Web UX design, “pins” are usually associated with geographic locations, not social networks. I don’t think many users will be able to figure out how to set the defaults on their own, which will lead to lots of frustration.
In addition, Hootsuite power users typically have lots of social network accounts (I have more than 15) and multiple use cases. Default accounts simply don’t work if you are constantly switching between clients, accounts and campaigns.
The new social picker is a step in the wrong direction. This interface tweak delivers no value to me, and in fact makes it much more difficult to use the tool — I either have to constantly click and scroll to select networks, or deselect the defaults. I’ve already found that I’m using my social networks less as a result
One other thing to add: I pay for Hootsuite. The company never told me about the change, or asked for my feedback. This is a bad way to treat customers, and I predict some will fly the coop — I am definitely considering other options.
How are other people reacting? I saw one positive tweet from someone who said she uses the same social network accounts 99% of the time and likes having default accounts. However, most of the other Hootsuite users out there who have publicly commented are clearly frustrated with the new social picker:
— Jason B. Whitman (@JasonBWhitman) June 16, 2013
@hootsuite_help New picker is badly designed, icons are too small, can’t change the order, non-intuitive to deselect, pls change back
— Miss Jackson (@missjacksoncafe) June 15, 2013
What do you think of Hootsuite’s new social picker? Leave comments below.
Update 1: Go to the Hootsuite feedback forum and let them know you want to revert to the old social picker.