I’ve talked about what a great tool TweetDeck is in my previous posts about Twitter (Twitter Tips for Newbies, Twitter Stage Two, and Advanced Twitter). Clearly, I’m a big fan. So when I met TweetDeck founder and developer Iain Dodsworth at the London Social Media Cafe (also known as Tuttle) in early January, I felt a bit like a groupie meeting my favourite rock star.
I caught up with Iain again yesterday at Tuttle, and he gave me a quick overview of some of the new TweetDeck features I’d missed in the latest update. So I thought it might be helpful to share them here, in case anyone else missed them too.
First, for anyone who is on Twitter but not yet using TweetDeck, stop reading right now and download it. If all you know of Twitter is the Twitter.com interface, you’re depriving yourself and stunting your own Twitter development. TweetDeck transforms the Twitter experience from a series of unrelated tweets to real conversations. It makes everything easier and more intuitive, adds additional features, and makes it possible to manage larger following/follower numbers without being overwhelmed. Okay, enough evangelizing, I’ll move on to the newest cool features. I’m just going to highlight the ones I find especially useful to me, but you can get a complete overview (including a how-to video) on the TweetDeck blog (you can also find the video here).
New “Other Actions”
Most of the new features are accessed via a new icon for Other Actions, which can be found in the spot previously used by the Favourites icon. Hover your cursor over the photo/avatar box on any tweet, and it’s the icon in the lower right corner. Click the icon and a box appears with a list of functions you can do right there.
- Follow/Unfollow - Previously, you had to click on the ID and open the Profile in order to follow or unfollow. You still can, but this is handier.
- Email Tweet – This is really useful if you want to share a tweet with someone not on Twitter. By clicking here, an email window opens with the tweet in the message, so all you have to do is address it and send. So if you were monitoring for tweets that mentioned your company, and came across a customer complaint, you could easily email the message to the person who can address the problem.
- Translate – This opens up a whole new world of Twitter for me. Since I have contacts worldwide, I follow a number of people who tweet primarily in languages other than English. So even if they use English when they send a message to me, I’ve been missing out on everything else they tweet. Sometimes there have even been tweets which referenced or retweeted me, that I couldn’t read, other than my own name. Now, all I have to do is click Translate, and it automatically determines which language to translate from and translates it to my designated language. Like any computer translation, it’s not always grammatically perfect, but the translations are good enough to get the message across. I’ve only begun to experiment with this, but I love it already. You can also translate your outgoing tweets into another language (see below).
- Add to Group – Perhaps the most useful for me, since I waited far too late to start utilizing TweetDeck’s Group function. The Group capability is the best way to manage large Follow numbers. I’ve got a group I call “Top Tweeps” that includes a handful of people who I want to catch every tweet. I’m also starting one for fellow IABC members. Anyway, now it’s very simple to add people to groups directly from any tweet.
- Search – This feature is the answer to the question I frequently hear from Twitter newbies about how to see conversations. Say you read an intriguing tweet that is clearly part of a bigger conversation. By clicking on this Search button, TweetDeck opens a Search column on this person’s name, which means you see both their tweets and all the tweets sent to them. Now you can see the whole conversation. It’s a quick and easy way to get to know more about someone, and to find other interesting people to follow. It would also be useful in situations where more than one person in a company might provide back-up for an official Twitter account, to keep a search column open on that ID all the time.
Translate Outgoing Tweets
You can translate a tweet you have just typed into any of about 40 languages. Just click on the icon that looks like a conversation bubble, located next to the hashtag icon at the lower right of the tweet box, then next to it click the tiny arrow, which opens up the list of languages. When you select one, it will translate your tweet. I’ve tested it in several languages and asked native speakers to tell me if they can understand my tweet, and in every case, the answer is yes, but it’s not perfect grammatically. That’s good enough for me. I’m not even perfect in my own language.
Two new features make it easier to use hashtags:
- Automatic hashtag in replies – Now when you reply to a tweet that includes a hashtag, the hashtag will automatically appear in the message (you can delete it if you wish).
- Recent hashtags – If you use hashtags regularly, especially while at an event, you get tired of typing it into every tweet. Now with a click you can open a pull-down list of recent hashtags you’ve used and insert it into your tweet. The hashtag icon is located at the bottom right of the tweet box (next to the Shorten and Twitpic buttons). It will hold up to 10 hashtags.
Auto-complete for IDs
This feature is really useful if you want to send a direct message or @ message and can’t remember the exact ID. As soon as you type either a “d” plus a space or the @ symbol, an auto-complete box appears, and as you type, a list appears with possible IDs. This feature, by the way, was added after the others as a separate update, and wasn’t automatically pushed out, so if you want it, you’ll need to download the latest update.
There’s more, including some changes in the Settings choices, so it’s definitely worth watching the video and reading the TweetDeck blog.
My love of TweetDeck just keeps growing, and I’m not alone. According to TechCrunch, TweetDeck is the second most popular Twitter application, and it’s certainly the top Twitter desktop client. As I’ve said before, I couldn’t do all that I do with Twitter if it weren’t for TweetDeck. Love, love, love it.