Sunday, July 6, 2008

Title Fight: vs. HelloTxt

Wow, I can see there are a lot of people interested in and other multi-platform updaters. How do I know this? After I posted my review of, my site stats tripled. Mason Tech Beat has just passed the 3000 hit mark!


Anyway, as amazing as has proven to be, I thought it should stand up to a little competition. HelloTxt is a service similar to that allows you to update all of your social network statuses at one time. The interface is simple and has a number of features. Let's go down the list and see how the two services compare:

Available Networks:
  • (18 Networks) - Bebo, Blogger, BrightKite, Facebook, Friendfeed, hi5,, Jaiku, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, Mashable, MySpace, Plaxo Pulse, Plurk, Pownce, Tumblr, Twitter, Xanga
  • HelloTxt (21 Networks) - Bebo, Beemood, BrightKite, Facebook, Frazr, Feecle, Fanfou, Gozub, hi5,, Jaiku, LinkedIn, Meemi, Mexicodiario, MySpace, Numpa, Plaxo Pulse, Plurk, Pownce, Twitter, Tumblr
This is a very tough thing to compare, because each user is most interested in the specific networks that are important to them. Both services have the big networks like Twitter, Pownce, Plurk, Facebook, Jaiku, and the like, but the other services are a toss-up. I get the impression that many of's choices are meant for their blogging feature (discussed in a minute). These include Blogger, Xanga, and even Myspace. HelloTxt, on the other hand, seems to have a number of either obscure service or, more likely, services popular in countries outside the US. Because each side has a large number of services that are arguably for different tastses, I'll say this catagory is a TIE.

Posting Without An Account:
  • - The service is currently in Private Beta, so it requires an invite code (like "masontechbeat") and a sign-up verified by email.
  • HelloTxt - For the most popular networks, you only need to agree to their terms of service and it will update directly to your chosen networks. This is easy for a quick trial and for computer lab terminals. The downside to not having an account is that you have to enter your account information for each network every time. Fortunately, Firefox (and Flock) do seem to be able to remember the passwords for these fields.
Guilt-free trials are always nice on a new product. The services are basically operating at opposite ends of the beta spectrum. One if viral with a code and one is completely open and has the same log-in requirements of a wiki. This round goes to HelloTxt for being easy and open.

Posting Options:
  • - Web Interface, Special Email Address, IM Bot, Mobile Interface (including iPhone), iGoogle and Facebook Apps
  • HelloTxt - Web Interface, Special Email Address, Mobile Interface (no iPhone version), Posting via SMS, Facebook App
The great thing about both of these services is how many different ways there are to use them. Some people use status updates almost exclusively while they are away from a computer. Others are ALWAYS at a computer and just use it to keep up with their other computer-chained friends. I really liked both web interfaces (HelloTxts is the one that doesn't require a sign-up, remember). One thing I like a little more about's is their ability to catagorize different update sources. You can specify for each service if it is a status update, microblogging tool, or a full on blog. That's right, you can blog directly from using their special syntax. The special email address is there for both services, but just added the feature that if you attached a photo to the email (or use MMS) it will upload itself and add as part of the message. Edit: HelloTxt also has image uploads over email.

If you're a big texter, HelloTxt will win out, but if you have web access on your phone, looks to have a better mobile interface (especially for iPhone users like me). The big decieding factor for me was the IM bot. I contstantly use the AIM bot (though they support gTalk and Yahoo! as well) to update everything. The bot is even friendly and the message changes sometimes! wins the posting options catagory, a very important one if you ask me.

After using both services and playing around with the different options, I have to say I prefer I like the IM bot feature, the catagorization options, and more of their networks are relevant to what I already use. HelloTxt is probably better for international users and users who love the SMS. I should point out, though, that will be rolling out SMS in the future, as revealed by Mark O'Neill's article on MakeUseOf. I enjoyed using both these services and I hope you give both of them a try and see which one works best for you.

I declare the Title Fight Winner!


  1. I find both services to be very useful and actually prefer(ed) until very recently. The main reason I prefer(ed) it was because of the 'Status Snap'; the ability to see a list of status updates/tweets/etc of all your friends on the services you use.

    Unfortunately, as of late the Status Snap seems to be behind by many hours and viewing the 'Status Snap' on on iPhone browser is very buggy.

    I also use but really wish it had a 'Status Snap'-like feature.

  2. is better because you can use commands to post to different services and because it has a bookmarklet.

  3. HelloTXT also got a IM bot though if add them as a contact via Jabber/google talk, Great article btw

  4. Good to know Winum. Thanks for reading!

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  6. Thanks for this article, I was in a fix and couldn't chose between these two, this article has convincedd me that is better

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  12. Thanks for the article
    hellotxt has more networks but has better ones, and they let you update from IM = :)

  13. good to know it's a tie, we used both but actually felt to be easier to setup and use


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The content of this page is completely the creation and opinion of James Rogers. He is affiliated with Connect Mason and formerly Broadside Online but the relationship only governs republication, not content.

Further, in the interest of full disclosure, this author holds minor financial investments in Apple, Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices.