In the last few months, Twitter has become my favorite social networking hangout, mainly because I find it less time consuming than Facebook and Tumblr, and I can certainly update it quicker than I can any of my typically abandoned blog sites. Most of last year I have been using YoruFukurou and a few iPhone apps as my Twitter clients, but now I’m giving the multi-platform TweetDeck a try again, and below are the reasons why.
For a long while, TweetDeck was a popular Twitter client amongst power users, but when the software was acquired by Twitter back in May of last year, it got stripped of some of its features, and many users are no longer happy with it. I have experienced a few problems with the software since I started using it, but I keep it in my Dock for when I want to do some heavy Twitter reading and posting. There are no new features as far as I know added to TweetDeck since it was acquired by Twitter, but I do think the application is worth a second look.
First off, what’s most useful to me about TweetDeck is that you can keep multiple Twitter accounts opened in your Timeline instead of having to switch accounts as you would in other Twitter clients.
If you’re a Twitter power user, you no doubt are keeping up with several different streams of posts at a time, including your favorite contacts, a few keyword searches, and of course your mentions, replies and direct messages.
TweetDeck’s multiple columns are probably what makes it stand above other Twitter clients. In addition to creating columns based on specific keyword or name searches, TweetDeck also contains a core selection of column choices to get you started. You will probably want to click and add the Mentions and Direct Messages columns, and maybe the New Followers column to keep open at all times.
What I find most cool about columns in TweetDeck is that you can set up Mentions columns for more than one account and view them all in the same interface. Again, this saves the hassle of switching accounts to view those listings.
You can also create separate columns for Twitter Lists, and TweetDeck makes it easier to do so. Say for example you want to make a list of your favorite websites posting on Twitter. To do so, simply select a user you want to use to create or add to a list.
When you hover your mouse over the user’s avatar, select the little gear icon, which will reveal a menu of selections. Next, select Add to Group/List. In the resulting pop-up window, you can create a new list and select to make it public or private. TweetDeck will create a separate column for your new list.
After the List column is added, you can add more users to the list by putting your cursor at the top of the column and select the edit button. From there you can add your existing contacts or do searches for others to add to your list.
Notice also that you can actually search and add names from your other social networking accounts as well.
TweetDeck also has a few posting features not found in other Twitter clients I’ve used. One of the best features is scheduled updates. You can write a post and then schedule a time for when you want it posted.
After you set up a time for the update, click the Send Today button and TweetDeck will send your scheduled post in the background. You can even create a column for your scheduled posts (select Core services as mentioned above.)
TweetDeck’s posting features also includes automatic long URL shortening, access to a list of your recent hashtags, and a language translator.
It also has a TweetShrink feature that when applied, attempts to shorten your wordy tweets, replacing common phrases and words with shorter representations.
The Twitter client also includes a Long Tweet feature that is supposed to allow you to use bit.ly to post 140+ character posts from within the software; however, I couldn’t get the feature to work after several tries.
If you plan to take full advantage of TweetDeck, you may need to take some time to explore all its Preferences choices which include changes you can make to the application’s color and font appearance, the type of notifications you receive, which image upload service you want to use, and several dozen more options.
The new version of TweetDeck has received mixed ratings in the Apple Store where it can be downloaded for free.
For one, there’s hardly any keyboard shortcuts for the app, and one big shortcoming, for me anyway, is that there’s no way to quickly post from a web browser the title and URL of an article. You have to actually copy and paste both these items into TweetDeck’s update box. This is a huge turn off because probably half of my tweets consist of links to articles.
Other than these shortcomings, I’m pretty satisfied with TweetDeck. But I’m interested in what you think of it. Did you use it before like I did and stop? Have you restarted using it? Let us know.