Social Enterprise

Five free social networking tools for the desktop

Sobees 1

This photo gallery is also available as a post in the Five Apps Blog.

Businesses cannot escape the fact that social networking has become a necessity. Not only to spread the word about your product or service, but for keeping your own finger on the pulse of the consumers in your market. It's free PR with serious payoff.

Here's the problem - the standard browser-based clients don't always offer all of the features you might want or need. From aggregation to easy photo posting, in order to make the most efficient use of your social networking efforts, you need clients that make the job easy. I have found five desktop social networking clients that are not only easy, but free too.

Five Apps

1. Sobees

Sobees is an incredibly powerful tool that not only allows you to update your status across multiple account types (or multiple Twitter accounts), it also offers a powerful search tool, and even allows you to edit the layout of the client. The ability to assign different social networking accounts to different sections of your layout, makes Sobees really stand out.

Credit: Images by Jack Wallen for TechRepublic


Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website


It's one thing if these tools are used for personal use, but it’s another thing if they’re used for business use, either for internal business or customer facing. The big weakness is IT’s ability to support business demands for e-discovery and timely destruction of e-communications in the social media setting. IT may not be able to protect the business or electronically govern the use. IT constantly struggles with users demanding more, and this article helps make it easier for the user. But little may be gained if we ignore the looming risk. A business that allows e-services that have no audit trail may have its head in the sand. The bigger the business, the greater the risk.