The popular multicolumn Twitter client TweetDeck got some serious competition last night, when Twhirl publisher Seesmic launched Seesmic Desktop, a direct competitor. But this morning TweetDeck shot back with a new version that addresses some of the issues the Seesmic said it was winning on.
The biggest change is better memory management. It's an under-the-hood fix, but it addresses a major complaint about the app--that it can eat away at system resources and drag down a whole computer. The TweetDeck blog says, "The memory leak has been plugged and now the latest version of TweetDeck will peak at a certain level and won't go any higher. So you can leave your TweetDeck running all day, all night, or forever if you really want to."
Last night, after I wrote a comparison of multicolumn Twitter clients, Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur harangued me to attack TweetDeck on the memory management issue. He was right that it's an important topic.
TweetDeck is also getting Facebook support (it was available previously, but required the user download a special beta version). It's limited to displaying (and contributing to) the status feed, but it works well.
The program is getting tighter integration with URL shortening services (you can optionally preview a link before pulling it up in a browser), with Twitpic (images are displayed in the app), and with the video recording site 12Seconds (you can record videos directly from TweetDeck). By contrast, Seesmic Desktop doesn't yet have support for the competing video service Seesmic, although the older Twhirl app does.
There are other small but welcome improvements.
TweetDeck is still missing a major feature: It does not support multiple Twitter accounts. If you want to keep up with the replies to, or contribute to more than one Twitter account, you'll need a different app; I recommend Seesmic Desktop, Twhirl, and, for Mac users, Nambu.