Twitter’s new beta version of TweetDeck is so bad that I’m ready to get furious


Calculator: 31 tweets. That’s how many times I can see it in my traditional TweetDeck window one day. But at the same time TweetDeck’s new preview showed me only 21 tweets – 38 percent less, and has the narrowest columns and the smallest font available, just for clarity.

For more than a decade, people have sworn by TweetDeck as a power user alternative to the original Twitter app, but what most people really mean is one particular thing: it allows you to see more tweets. TweetDeck lets you see more tweets without having to scroll. It gives you a complete tweeter panel that you can throw on the monitor unattended. The power of TweetDeck is that conspicuous, a way to passively exploit the fires of personal interests. That is why it is such a powerful tool for world newsrooms and a tool Limit use daily.

That’s why I also don’t understand how Twitter could have released this new version of TweetDeck into the world, even in beta. I’m now worried that Twitter has forgotten why we use TweetDeck.

Left: TweetDeck. Right: TweetDeck preview.

If you break it down, there are easily half a dozen little culprits, each of whom can be forgiven alone:

  • There is a lot of wasted space around tweets.
  • The answer, retweet, and corresponding buttons are spaced apart and take up more space.
  • The left rail of TweetDeck is wider for no apparent reason.
  • There’s an “overview” at the top of Twitter lists inexplicably, which leaves an ugly “show overview” button, even if you minimize it.
  • Tweet previews within tweets (i.e., quote tweets) now take up much more vertical space.
  • The scroll bars are now larger because they are the original browser, unlike previous custom bars – and in Chrome they don’t seem to render properly in the dark.

Together, these changes make for a less eye-catching TweetDeck, regardless of whether you’ve got it on a dedicated portrait screen (like me) or not. I’m frustrated that my 16:10 screen no longer fits into four full columns without changing the browser zoom, but it can honestly be in the landscape: if you follow people who retweet a lot of things, you’re lucky to see four at a time in any column before they slide out of sight .

When Twitter teased the new TweetDeck on Tuesday, the knee-high reaction was that the valuable columns may have been permanently removed due to a teaser image that – to put it mildly – did not serve the power users of TweetDeck. An hour later, Twitter noticed an error, tweeting out “Don’t worry! Your favorite TweetDeck features won’t go away,” suggesting the columns are alive and well. Twitter’s Eric Zuckerman, who helps a business partner with news publishers, even defended the design tweet your own picture:

And yet, with some Zuckerman columns, you only see two big tweets at a time. Two.

The new TweetDeck has some silver plating. I’m glad Twitter brings a new composer and instant message box from Twitter.com. It’s nice to take a closer look at images, for example, and you might argue that a pop-up box saves you the need to set up a column for them (even if Limitprivate news account, it only blocks part of the view). And while I could care less about being able to switch between column-filled covers from one Twitter account, a la virtual workstations, I’m sure some social media leaders are excited.

The new TweetDeck composer has achieved parity with Twitter.com and looks identical.

The new Notifications column is also neat, so you can easily see notifications for specific users and when your tweets are liked and retweeted, instead of just seeing you when you’re mentioned. This, plus columns for your own profile, Twitter research tab, events, topics, moments, and advanced Boolean search can make TweetDeck the perfect alternative to Twitter instead of sometimes switching between the two.

But for a few creatures to comfort, I don’t search TweetDeck more than Twitter.com. Vanilla Twitter already exists and is just a click away. (Or at least until TweetDeck Preview added its own TweetDeck.com URLs to individual tweets, yuck.) I chose TweetDeck because it was more effective, just like I chose several third-party Twitter apps back when they were the thing before Twitter limited most of them to death and prevented them from becoming automatically updated tweets.

Ironically, I also have a bit of a problem with TweetDeck preview: if I step out of a new TweetDeck window for a moment, I find that the auto-update feature doesn’t always bring new tweets into my view. Twitter says TweetDeck is currently trying to keep your current scrolling position so you don’t lose track when more tweets come, but that it wants feedback. (My feedback: select the “Don’t scroll automatically” option.)

Twitter tells me that it has already seen a lot of early feedback that tweeting is important to people and that feedback is paragraph push this preview to the world. The company wants to explore what it should really include in the final version, and criticism like me can help. Oh, and that is especially important here because Twitter expects people to pay for this new version of TweetDeck. “With this test, we hope to gather feedback to find out what the improved version of TweetDeck might look like in Twitter subscription offers later,” the spokesman writes.

I certainly hope because there aren’t very many things that keep me on Twitter these days, except for the effectiveness of TweetDeck, and this preview version is less effective on virtually all fronts. If Twitter blows up TweetDeck, I’m just not refusing to pay – I’ll probably leave Twitter for good.

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