19 reasons to upgrade TweetDeck

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A long time ago, TweetDeck was an Adobe Air application and widely regarded as one of the best Twitter clients in existence. A little over a year ago the TweetDeck team, trying to move away from Air and bring their application to a wider audience, built an entirely new version of their app in HTML5 and JavaScript. This was launched as a Chrome app and is now available on five platforms: Chrome, Firefox, Windows, Mac and web. Work on the old Air version was stopped and, over the past year, the new TweetDeck has evolved to become a very solid replacement.

Twitter is currently in the process of upgrading its API (the interface by which clients such as TweetDeck communicate with Twitter). The old API will cease to work in the next couple of months and any clients which aren’t updated to use the new version will cease to work. This includes TweetDeck AIR and all the TweetDeck mobile clients (if you’re using one with a blue logo, you’re fine).

TweetDeck advise all users to migrate to the new application as soon as possible. tweetdeck.com). Now that’s a pretty big stick… but none of us really enjoy being poked with sticks, so here are a few carrots instead.

I’ve included links to the official TweetDeck blog where appropriate (mostly because it saves me having to do the screenshots).

  1. Cards

    Twitter Cards offer a way to get more out of a Tweet. In addition to your 140 characters, how about an excerpt from a web page, a media player or a gallery? They even offer a way of deep-linking in to applications from a tweet and I’m sure we can expect more in the future.

    More on Twitter Cards

  2. Support for API v1.1

    Twitter are in the process of replacing their API (Application Programming Interface) with an upgraded version, v1.1. TweetDeck for Chrome now uses v1.1, giving users many more requests per hour than v1. This means fewer rate limit problems and a smoother ride overall.

  3. Advanced search

    Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 10.52.09 AM

    Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 10.59.31 AM

    TweetDeck has brought some of Twitter’s advanced search options to TweetDeck. When you perform a search, you’ll see three dropdowns at the top of the search results. These also appear in the column options for all columns, so you can search for tweets by (for example) verified users, those containing images or videos, or excluding specific words, for any timeline, list or search column.

  4. Typeahead

    TweetDeck now supports Twitter’s search autocomplete functionality (typeahead), with a few little extras just for TweetDeck users. Press ‘s’ to start searching and you’ll see a list of recent searches. Use the arrow keys to select a search term, or start typing and TweetDeck will start showing suggestions for search terms and users. This makes it simple to navigate to a user’s profile or to repeat a search.

    You can also now search for users by keyword – great for finding new people to follow!

    Typeahead and People Search

  5. Design

    The design of TweetDeck has been completely overhauled to provide better navigation, clearer text and a tidier layout. For a complete overview of the new design, check out Cennydd’s blog post, Designing the new TweetDeck.

    A new look for TweetDeck

  6. Navigation

    TweetDeck improved its navigation by re-imagining the column dropdown to allow you to reorder your columns quickly and adding horizontal scrolling. This really comes in to its own when you have a touchpad.

    Swifter navigation for TweetDeck

    The dropdown navigation was the first feature I worked on at TweetDeck – I still think of it fondly :)

  7. Web view

    TweetDeck is available in most modern browsers including IE9, IE10, Safari, Chrome and Firefox at web.tweetdeck.com.

  8. Settings

    A few new settings have been added, but a lot of the ones you’re used to are not there. Now, I’m sure you’re going to miss some of those but simplicity is important, especially for new users. Old TweetDeck was succumbing to featuritis. New TweetDeck attempts to add as much functionality as possible without making the application overly complex.

  9. Column & Settings Sync

    This is, in my opinion, a really big win. When you create a TweetDeck account, your settings and columns are stored in the cloud so, when you log in on another device or another browser, or have to re-install the app, everything’s ready and waiting for you. Your settings will be synced between the web, Chrome, Firefox, Windows & Mac applications. Unfortunately the old Air app doesn’t support column sync, so you’ll have to re-create your columns in the new app, but then never again!

  10. Embed

    A particular favourite of bloggers and journalists, TweetDeck now gives you the option of creating embed code for any tweet and most columns.

    To embed a tweet, select Embed this Tweet from the Tweet context menu (click the three dots, bottom right of any tweet).

    Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 2 To embed a timeline, list or search column, open the column options and click the embed button.

    There’s a great article from Social Media Examiner on why you might want to embed a tweet here: 8 Creative Ways to Use Embeddable Tweets

    Here’s me extolling the virtues of our (temporary) London office:


    Embed this Tweet… from TweetDeck

  11. New columns

    There are some fantastic new columns available:

    Activity feed
    Great for those of you who like to see what other people are up to, this tells you what the people you follow are up to right now. I love watching this one. It’s great to see who your friends are following, which tweets they favourite. It’s invaluable for keeping up to date with what’s going on.
    Interactions
    Interactions gives you a combined column for follows, retweets, favourites and replies to your posts. it’s the perfect place to keep track of who’s interested in you and of course you can add one for any of the accounts you’ve added to TweetDeck.
    Timelines, Favorites & Mentions for other users
    You can now add Timelines, Favorites and Mentions column for any user. This is brilliant if you want to see what’s going on in the world for your friends, business partners, etc.
  12. Streamlined add column

    The add column flow has been significantly improved. Just click ‘Add column’ or press ‘a’ to open the Add column menu, then select the type of column you want.

  13. Improved Tweet detail view

    The detail view is now better than ever. Click on a tweet and it will slide in to view. Click ‘back’ to return to the column – we’ll do our best to save your place. The detail view now offers:

    Stats
    Retweet and favourites counts are right there below the tweet. Super.
    Inline conversation
    Rather than having to click through again to see the thread, you can now see it all right in the detail view. It’s gotten so I can’t live without this. Other apps just don’t cut the mustard!
    Twitter cards
    Twitter cards have been integrated in to TweetDeck so, if there’s a link to an article or media item in a tweet, you get to see the card embedded directly below the tweet. Super useful if you’re wondering whether to click that link or not.
    Profile headers and link summaries
  14. New profile format

    TweetDeck now displays profile views exactly like they appear on Twitter, including the lovely background images (with full retina support, of course!).
    Profile headers and link summaries

  15. Inline media previews

    You can now watch videos inline both in the standard and detail view, or in the media gallery. Click on the thumbnail, not the link, to see media previews.

  16. OSX notifications

    If you’re on OSX, TweetDeck supports both Growl and Mountain Lion notification center.

  17. Unicode character support

    No more little square boxes or unknown characters. They’re all supported out of the box.

  18. Retina support

    TweetDeck fully supports retina displays including user profile images, media (where possible), icons, etc.

  19. Ongoing development

    There’s been a weekly update to TweetDeck for the last 5 months or so. Some of these are just bug fix releases but new features are added regularly so you can expect this list to expand rapidly. Check the TweetDeck blog or follow @TweetDeck for regular updates.

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