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As social media dashboards go, the main benefit is often in the added functionality over the stock interface or application. TweetDeck (news, site), for one, is known for its flexible use of columns to help sort, manage and organize Twitter feeds. TweetDeck has recently launched version 2.0 of its iPhone app, with a handful of new, useful features and UI improvements.

A Re-Imagining of TweetDeck

TweetDeck's creators say the 2.0 update is a re-imagining of the original TweetDeck iOS application, as the interface has been redesigned from ground up. TweetDeck 2.0 is touted as faster and more user-friendly than the original release, and features custom columns, support for new touch gestures, improved performance and support for long tweets with, among others.

Our team took the original iPhone app and distilled the essence of what made it so popular into a series of guiding principles. They then embarked on creating a brand new app from scratch, making use of all the latest technologies and design approaches, but all the while with an eye on those fundamental principles from the original."

Custom Columns Make Sifting Through Tweets More Convenient

Among TweetDeck's strongest points is its support for multiple columns of tweets. With version 2.0, you can more easily mix and mash tweets from various sources into one column. This can include Twitter timelines, direct messages, mentions, favorites, searches and lists. This feature works great with users who have multiple Twitter accounts. You can more easily combine DM inboxes and mentions in one column, for example.

Navigate Faster with an Improved User Interface

Another of TweetDeck 2.0's highlights is its use of improved touch- and gesture-based commands. Aside from the usual pull-down-to-update gesture, version 2.0 gives you access to column settings with a pinch. Tapping the status bar brings you to the topmost part of the column. Pulling down on a tweet expands that particular tweet, which includes the full conversation. This makes reading tweets and references (responses and retweets) easier.

Say More with Long Tweets

TweetDeck 2.0 incorporates support, so you can more easily compose tweets in excess of the standard 140-character limitation. This might defeat the whole purpose of writing short tweets, but some information might just be too substantial to conform to the 140-character constraint.

Will TweetDeck Compete with Twitter Itself?

The rumor mill was abuzz with a supposed UberMedia acquisition of TweetDeck, in which UberMedia was said to be targeting the launch of a new, separate microblogging service. That deal fell through, though, and now word has it that Twitter itself is looking into acquiring TweetDeck, possibly to establish its dominance in the Twitter client market.

While TweetDeck is meant as a tool for power users, it's also suitable for novices who want more out of their mobile (and desktop) Twitter experience than just the stock interface. If you want a better means of organizing your Twitter feeds on your smartphone, then TweetDeck is a good choice. It's free to download from Apple's App Store, and has versions suited for both the iPhone and iPad. TweetDeck also supports different platforms, including desktop, Chrome and Android versions.