Twitter has released the first stable release of TweetDeck 1.0, its recently acquired, multi-columned Twitter client. TweetDeck 1.0, which runs on both Mac and Windows, is the first release to be written in native code as opposed to as an Adobe AIR application.
The release has proved controversial – many users feel let down by the loss of a number of features that were present in earlier, beta releases of the software. Users must also register separately with TweetDeck before being able to use the new app – in previous releases, registration was optional.
TweetDeck 1.0, which is also available as a Chrome specific app and web client, has ditched Adobe AIR in favour of what appears to be a HTML5 interface wrapped up in a native shell.
It retains the well-known multi-column layout of previous releases – which are no longer available to download, but most significantly removes support for all other social networks except Twitter itself and scaled back support for Facebook.
There are significant changes to the user interface that go beyond simply replacing the old yellow TweetDeck logo with the blue Twitter one. The author of each tweet is now listed in bold at the top of the tweet, while links, hashtags and mentions are also rendered in the same blue for better readability purposes. Only the time of the tweet is displayed – both day and date have vanished.
TweetDeck also defaults to using Twitter’s own URL shortening and photo services, although the original defaults (bit.ly and YFrog respectively) can be restored via the Settings menu. Navigation moves from the bottom to the top of the screen, while all of the controls, previously visible at the bottom of each column, have disappeared – you now need to click the Settings button at the top of the column to access them.
The Settings window has been significantly cut back to provide a cleaner experience over just four tabs, but this has come at the expense of many advanced controls, including Filter, What’s Popular and a selection of controls for individual users, such as the option for adding them to groups.
TweetDeck Inc was acquired by Twitter in May. On announcing the merger on its blog, TweetDeck was firmly positioned as a tool for the ‘power user’. “By becoming part of the official platform, TweetDeck will now fill that role for brands, influencers, the highly active and anyone that just needs ‘more power’”, the blog post claimed.
Judging by early reaction to this first release since Twitter took the reins, many TweetDeck users will dispute this claim. However, it’s possible that much of the missing functionality may reappear in later builds, while other users have publicly welcomed the cleaner, less cluttered interface.
To find out which side of the debate you sit on, TweetDeck 1.0 is available now as a freeware download for Windows and Mac.