The MySpace addition to TweetDeck, though, shows how much CEO Iain Dodsworth wants TweetDeck to become, in his words, "a browser for the real-time Web."
I like TweetDeck a lot. I use it and Seesmic Desktop in equal proportions. But I'm not sure I want my Twitter client to get all fancy and over-ambitious. Twitter is hard enough to manage even with a good, clean client. If TweetDeck adds support for other real-time feeds--Dodsworth mentions Last.fm, Songkick, and Doppler, for example--then I worry about the clarity of TweetDeck's Twitter experience getting murky.
Although there are some integrations that can work. I welcome TweetDeck 0.30's improved Facebook support. It now supports photo streams and makes it easy to update Facebook directly from Twitter, among other features. While Twitter and Facebook have different feature sets that make mixing the two networks in one application a little weird, in TweetDeck they run in separate columns and stay nice and separate. (Seesmic Desktop can merge streams from Twitter and Facebook in a single column, quite successfully.)
Other improvements in the new version of TweetDeck include even tighter Bitly integration, down to the app's automatic and instant conversion of long links to short ones as you type them (cool) and the capability to drag photos directly into TweetDeck to post them to Facebook (also cool). You can also click on a hashtag in a tweet to kick off a new search column for that tag.
TweetDeck also gets a new list of recommended Twitter accounts for users to follow, and the way you add users is particularly elegant: you can add a whole collection of Twitterers in a topic, like "Journalists," and TweetDeck creates a new column in the interface to follow just those accounts. Unfortunately the process for getting accounts on to the TweetDeck recommended lists is opaque or "editorial" at the moment, although Dodsworth does say he'll move to a crowd-sourced model shortly.
The new version's user interface appears to be cleaned up. However, it's really that some options are now hidden in second-level menus.
And still missing is an option to get a notification sound only on @replies or direct messages. Sometimes I run Seesmic Desktop just for that one feature.
In sum, version 0.30 is a decent upgrade to TweetDeck, although the app is approaching feature overload with its continuing addition of new services.
Previously: New versions of Tweetdeck, Seesmic square off