Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. The PR person in me jokingly refers to it as "an homage." Others might call it plagiarism or copyright infringement.
Does the new Twitter merit any of these descriptions when compared to HootSuite? Not sure, but news about Twitter's new ad targeting, pending analytics and new interface (shown here via my work account) makes it clear that Twitter is trying to become more of an ad platform.
Open API, Closed Business Model
Many will say new Twitter is killing the company's relationship with its developer community. This community helped Twitter vault from being a very handy utility into the third most popular social media site (recently passing MySpace).
But if they're going to make money, they need to nail their ad model and give users more reasons to use their site. It's business.
I've been using both Twitter.com and HootSuite lately.
It's why I finally noticed a feature they added to joint accounts a few months back -- assigning tweets to other users for follow-up. It's not the same as Radian6 routing capabilities, but it was the first thing I compared it to.
So as social media morphs, the applications we're using to access the graph are as well. Consolidating Twitter tools is long overdue. But I don't see HootSuite competing with Radian6 (disclosure: we use Radian6 at Empower). This all simply reminds us that change is good and social media is messy.