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December 03, 2009

TweetDeck 0.32 and Twitter lists

The new TweetDeck, v0.32 released a couple of days ago, supports Twitter lists. Even better, it is moving to using lists instead of its own “groups” for organising your twitter stream. This makes synchronising Tweetdeck columns across multiple machines trivially easy. A great improvement. Or so I thought…

It turns out that Twitter lists have a feature I hadn’t spotted, that affects the visibility of @replies. Normally, if somebody in your twitter stream sends a reply to another user, you get to see that reply if you are also following the other user. If you are not following them, you don’t see the reply. It didn’t used to be this way, and there was a big fuss from lots of people (including me) when it changed, but I’m used to it now, and I don’t imagine it ever changing back. I’ve even been glad of the behaviour occasionally!

Anyway, back to lists. When you are viewing a list’s twitter stream (i.e. the tweets posted by people on the list) you only see replies if they are to somebody else also on the list. That kind of makes sense if you are following somebody else’s list, but makes no sense of you are using your own lists to organise the people you follow. It especially makes no sense when using TweetDeck to organise people you follow into columns.

To be clear, with TweetDeck’s groups, when ever somebody I followed replied, I saw that reply if they replied to somebody else I followed. Even if I put the other person in a different group/column in TweetDeck. That’s the behaviour I want and expect. By converting my TweetDeck groups into twitter lists and building columns based on those, even though the people in the list-based columns are the same as those in the groups-based columns, I start missing replies. This is a bad thing.

Am I wrong about this? Is there something I’ve misunderstood? What’s the best way of fixing it?

For now, I’ve gone back to group-based columns in TweetDeck and will stay there until this issue is sorted out…


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