New Year, New You! CoTweet Becomes SocialEngage

CoTweet got a revamp this week, as interactive marketing provider ExactTarget announced the launch of SocialEngage, a new and improved version of the social media management platform’s former self.

The makeover promises to expand business potential, but survey so far appears skeptical of the hype. Is it merely the same man disguised by expensive designer clothes?

Managing Twitter Accounts & Now More

The impetus behind CoTweet’s inception arose from of a necessity to manage multiple Twitter accounts (and Facebook) at once, as well as exploit cross-channel marketing opportunities for businesses. The platform enables brands to engage and expand their target demographics by driving web traffic and improving customer experience.

In 2009 and still in beta mode even, it was considered one of CMSWire’s Best Twitter Tools for Business. With the new edition, being coined “the next generation” of social media management, SocialEngage promises to deliver all that CoTweet had to offer along with an array of new features.

Updates to the model include outbound editorial workflow, RSS integration, conversation export, SSL security, Facebook wall moderation, distributed enterprise framework, tags, snippets, reports and permission levels. Essentially, it permits more people to control messaging; consolidates feedback on audience behavior across various platforms; and facilitates a more efficient means of retrieving results data.

ExactTarget, a global email marketing platform, began over a decade ago as a method of empowering marketers to maximize value by optimizing efforts to re-market and re-engage campaigns. The company acquired CoTweet in 2010, and has since actively been heading the development of a series of applications to foster its mission, the latest being this week’s debut of SocialEngage.

Explained in a company blog post, “The beauty of SocialEngage is that it’s powerful enough for the world’s largest brands, but maintains the best of CoTweet’s ease of use for small to mid-sized organizations. We’ve built SocialEngage to easily scale across teams, departments and geographies, and we’ve made it easy to integrate with other interactive marketing channels, such as email and mobile, in support of broader marketing campaigns.”

CoTweet Will Be Free No More

Ah yes, but of course it all comes at a price, which may be the biggest modification of all. Like its cousin Twitter, CoTweet has always existed as a free service, yet the same cannot be said for the glammed out successor. No word yet on fees, but assuredly the village people are growing restless.

The news arrives with much backlash from users, who’d grown comfortable and content with CoTweet, and find no dire need for the upgrade, or furthermore, the upgraded cost. Complaints are showing up across Twitter and in reply comments to the post, indicating there has already been a rising frustration with CoTweet as of late, thus the news may serve as tipping point to move onto other services like HootSuite or Cultivatr.

Even those who’d been using the paid version of CoTweet and were less bothered by price suggested their user experience had recently been subpar, and it may be an apt moment to jump ship.

Or, as one aggravated customer noted, at least respond to the complaints on your blog if you’re so progressive.