TweetDeck is a free application available for Linux, Mac and Windows (through the Adobe Air application) that allows you to keep track of Twitter in real time, without having to visit (and constantly reload) the Web site.
In addition, TweetDeck offers the ability to keep track of the latest status updates from your Facebook friends.
TweetDeck has some really nice features, including the following:
- You can send a status update to Twitter and/or Facebook from within the app
- You can organize the people you’re following on Twitter into different groups and view their updates separately
- You can search Twitter directly from within the interface
- You can shorten a URL within TweetDeck using bit.ly, digg, is.gd, tr.im, tinyurl or twurl
- You can upload a photo to TwitPic and post it to Twitter
- You can use “TweetShrink” to shorten your tweet by replacing long words with some of their txtspeak equivalents automatically
- You can keep track of and automatically insert hashtags you’ve recently used
- You can tweet or e-mail recent Facebook updates from your friends
TweetDeck is still beta software, so there are a few things missing or features that don’t work quite right. The items I’ve found that I would like to see fixed (and will be filing feature requests/bug reports if they have not already been filed) include:
- It’s unfortunate that there is no way to read and/or respond to comments on Facebook status updates.
- If you have the feature enabled to automatically search for Twitter users when you type the @ symbol, TweetDeck actually duplicates the @ symbol in your post.
- The direct messages you have sent are mixed in with the direct messages you’ve received. In addition, it seems (at least on the linux version; I haven’t verified this on the Windows version) that your “icon” doesn’t show up next to the direct messages you have sent.
- There doesn’t seem to be a way to make the columns auto-size themselves so they fit to the width of the window. In fact, there’s no way I’ve yet found to resize the columns even manually.
- On Linux, at least, there’s no application icon associated with the program, so it shows up as a generic window in your taskbar.
- I haven’t found a way to track who’s following you (or choose to follow new followers) within the app, meaning that you still have to visit Twitter.com to manage your followers and to follow new people.
Other than those few items, I think this is a great application. It’s kind of cool to watch the updates from your friends roll in as they’re being posted.