Image representing TweetDeck as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

I really love TweetDeck, the Twitter client that makes it a heck of a lot easier for me to manage my 8 Twitter accounts. (Seriously 8. I know. It’s ridiculous. I have even more Facebook pages if you can believe it.) If you’ve never used the application before, TweetDeck’s power lies in columns, letting you scan several things with things like individual lists, @ replies, search results and more each in their own column. If you tweet from multiple Twitter accounts (What kind of freak does that, right guys? ;-)) it is really invaluable. I’ve been a huge fan of the Desktop version since it came out.

But my biggest complain has always been the fact that the Desktop app could be a major system hog. I have a really good computer and even then it would bog the whole thing down. On my slow old laptop (still haven’t bought a new one) I could only open it for a few seconds at a time before the computer slowed to a stop. When I once mentioned the program’s high usage, a TweetDeck rep messaged me to let me know that the culprit was Adobe Air and that I should keep an eye out for the Chrome App coming soon.

I’m not a huge Chrome fan (Google, its your own damn browser, why does Google Docs works so poorly in it?!?!) but I do use it on occasion and when the Chrome version launched on December 10th I was one of the first, uh, no, actually their marketing is terrible I only just found out about it about two weeks ago when I went to update the Desktop version. But now that I have it and have been using it for a few weeks, I think there are several big reasons why you may want to switch from the Desktop version to the Chrome app.


  • It’s much less of a system hog. If it starts to get bogged down, just refresh the page and it is happy again.
  • Imports all your columns from the Desktop version.
  • It has (almost) everything that the Desktop version has. This may see like a duh but lots of web app versions I’ve used are stripped down from the desktop version and it was nice how similar this was to the one I already loved.
  • Boots as fast as Chrome boots. This was always an issue with the Desktop version for me: it took a while to start up. The Chrome plugin takes only as long to load as the browser does which is a much appreciated burst of speed. It makes it very handy to just pop on and check DMs and then pop off again, something I never would have done with the desktop version.
  • New combined columns! OK, I think the Desktop version just got this as well but with 8 accounts it’s really nice to finally be able to have all my DMs and all my @ replies in a single column instead of 8 of each.


  • You can’t really use Chrome while ChromeDeck is running. This one may seem counter-intuitive but when browsing the web and doing work with Chrome while running TweetDeck, everything slows down considerably and the browser gets very clunky. Since Chrome was only a sometimes browser for me anyway, this wasn’t a huge deal since I just leave TweetDeck Chrome open in the background just as I would have done with the desktop version of TweetDeck and use Firefox for my web use. But its really tempting to use Chrome because it’s right there and it really messes things up if you try to do things in other tabs while TweetDeck is open. That said, TweetDeck for Chrome works so hella fast I find myself just popping it open for a second to check things and then just closing it again if I’m using Chrome for something else.
  • Only *almost* like the desktop version with some features missing. They got rid of the ability to schedule tweets and Facebook posts. You can no longer add or remove people from groups from within a tweet. Unfollowing a person is an extra click. You can’t opt into @ replies in list views. Settings are maddeningly hard to find and some settings they no longer let you adjust at all. Sometimes it feels like everything is an extra click or five. Mind you, none of this is deal-breaking stuff. Most of this stuff you only use occasionally so from most of the day to day works just like it did on the Desktop version but the fact that it is otherwise so similar to the Desktop version just makes me want to scream when I realize I can’t do what I wanted to do. Though I really hope they give me back some of these things, it is really cramping my style!

The other cool thing (which may also now be in the Desktop version) is the ability to post to Facebook pages. I will be really impressed when they add things like comments, posts and likes on Facebook Pages to the Me column as well which, with the new Facebook Pages upgrade, can’t be far behind.

So, in conclusion, if you like the desktop version (or if you are just looking for a good way to manage lots of followers or several Twitter accounts) I really recommend giving TweetDeck Chrome a chance. Especially if you are a power-user, the speed is totally worth the few inconveniences and here’s hoping they fix those soon as well!

Have you gotten a chance to use the Chrome version? What did you think? What’s your Twitter app of choice?

(Of course, TweetDeck was just purchased by UberMedia who Twitter is mad at so here’s hoping they don’t totally change and ruin the service.)