Most people are users of at least one social network. Some, including myself, have multiple accounts on various social networks and services. Whether your accounts are for professional purposes or just to stay in touch with your friends, you need a reliable application to share your content and to stay on top of news and status updates. Yoono lets you know what's happening on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks through a simple yet configurable interface.
Yoono has been around for a while; since 2008, to be precise. It has undergone design changes, lost a few options, and gained many new ones. Now it's available as a browser addon for Firefox and Chrome, an app for iPhone and iPad, as well as a standalone desktop application for Linux, Mac and Windows – and all this for free.
On the first encounter Yoono will present you with a start screen where you can add accounts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Foursquare, MySpace, Yammer, FriendFeed, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger and GTalk. Some services support multiple accounts; if you have three Twitter accounts or two profiles on YouTube, you can control them all from Yoono.
Once you've set up the accounts, you can post status updates across different services. The interface is split into several sections: the header (containing the icons for each service), the textbox (where you enter your messages), the timeline (where posts from people you follow appear) and the sidebar (from which you can access Yoono settings). Yoono can notify you of new updates using popup messages or sounds, and you can choose the notification type for different events (new direct messages, a Twitter mention, new instant messages, new e-mail...). It can also display a total number of all updates for each service, or just show the ones sent directly to you.
Each account is represented by an icon, usually your profile picture, with a checkbox next to it. To post a message to a service, simply click the icons below the “Update my status on:” line. If you click the photo icon in the textbox, Yoono will let you upload and share photos from your computer. Clicking the green button will bring up the “Share” toolbar, which you can also access from the sidebar. The toolbar enables quick and easy content sharing, which is especially practical when you're using Yoono as a browser addon. You can share the entire web page or just selected elements, such as text and images.
Yoono's most notable features are groups and columns. You'll be familiar with the latter if you've used Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, because columns function the same way in Yoono. They provide an organized overview of all activity according to your preferences. You choose the number of columns, their layout and contents, and Yoono takes care of the rest.
Groups are another way to manage the news and updates you receive through connected social networks. You can use them to categorize your friends and people you follow by dividing them into groups, which can then be shown as separate columns. If you decide to stick to one-column setup, each group will be displayed as a tab on your timeline on which you can click to read updates.
Other useful timeline options are “Mark all as read” - for those times when you're in a hurry, and “Show unread only”, which helps you filter the new updates from those you've already seen. Depending on the service, you'll be able to reply to updates, comment on them, like, retweet (and modify retweets), hide updates from a person or block a user directly from the timeline. You can also remove your own posts from Yoono, but this won't affect them on the social network itself, so if you make a mistake in a tweet and remove it in Yoono, it will still be visible on your Twitter profile page.
Last but not least, Yoono offers widgets to extend its functionality and prove its awesomeness. "Friends" lets you use Yoono as an instant messaging app, and it's the only widget not marked as beta. Other widgets are, as the developers say, “not quite as feature complete”, but can be used to access inboxes and get alerts on new mail (Yahoo!, Gmail and Hotmail are currently supported), read Google Reader and Digg feeds, and stream music from Last.fm and Imeem. Some basic interface tweaks, such as color and font size, are available as well.
Yoono is among the top featured Firefox addons on the official Mozilla page and it has nearly half a million users just as a browser addon. Although the application (and the addon) still receive updates, the development seems to have stagnated. There is no support for new social networks, such as Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+, and the official support community cites “the lack of resources” as the reason for this drawback. However, it is still the best social dashboard I've tried and I plan to continue using it, primarily because it's very stable and easy to configure. Here's hoping that Yoono stays awesome and goes back to being actively maintained.
Ivana Isadora Devcic is a freelance writer, copyeditor and translator fluent in English, Swedish, Croatian and Norwegian. She's a Linux user and KDE fan interested in web design, productivity and personal branding. Ivana tweets about the world around her as @skadinna.