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Twitter is tweaking the navigation features in its TweetDeck social media dashboard app with the goal of speeding up navigation for users. Upgrades include improvements to browsing, column management and responsiveness.

Discovering and Reacting to Twitter Info

Twitter says the navigation enhancements will allow users to “more easily discover and react to the information (they care) care about,” and the features are now being formally released following beta testing. Let’s take a quick look at what is changing in TweetDeck. 

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Browsing -- Tweetdeck columns are now arranged in one continuous horizontal row, which Twitter says allows users to navigate smoothly left and right with the scrollbar. Users can scroll several columns at a time by clicking the arrows either side of the “Columns” button on the top toolbar. Users can also click the “Columns” button to reveal the full list of all the columns in their TweetDeck and access any column immediately.

Column Management -- The new Columns button also providers users with a drop-down menu that allows them to hover over the “drag” icon to the right of the column name they wish to move, click and drag the column to its new position, then drop.

Taking Action -- A menu icon on every tweet gives users access to actions such as creating as link or blocking another user. This makes it possible to do things like report a user for spam, add an account to a list and delete a tweet from the user’s main column view.

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Twitter Eyes Apps

Twitter appears to be pursuing a policy of making the user experience more convenient and rich through the development of in-house and third-party apps.

Last week, Twitter selected Acquia Drupal to be the home of its new Developer community. The new site will help app creators find more relevant content and advice, either in the guides, discussion forums or the developer's blog. With its REST and streaming APIs, Twitter developers can have access to historical or live Twitter data, and bend and shape it into the desired form, be it for statistical analysis or finding the right "influencers" to promote a product.

In May 2012, Twitter purchased RestEngine, a provider of technology that enables social app publishers to send individually targeted emails to subscribers based on their usage history. In a statement released at the time, RestEngine said it was “joining the Twitter flock” and “defin(ing) a new set of best practices for this brand new world of outbound social marketing.” The purchase agreement includes RestEngine’s technology, as well as three of four co-founders going to work for Twitter.

Twitter’s popularity is growing, but there are obvious limitations to a basic microblogging platform that allows 140-character postings. By purchasing and developing apps, as well as enabling the development of third-party apps, Twitter is expanding its functionality and setting the stage for further growth and increased competition with more feature-rich social media platforms such as Facebook.

The new version of TweetDeck is available now. Users can download TweetDeck for Mac and Windows, access the Chrome app or sign in on the web.