TweetDeck launched a limited beta of its Twitter client with support for Twitter's new User Streams Preview API and today, the company is opening up this beta to all. Thanks to this update, @mentions, direct messages and searches now appear in real time, without the need for TweetDeck to poll Twitter's servers at a regular interval. Instead of regularly contacting Twitter for updates, Twitter now immediately pushes updates directly to your desktop.A few weeks ago,
Finally: Twitter in Real Time
A lot of us here at ReadWriteWeb have been testing the preview version of TweetDeck and the only major limitation we have discovered so far is the fact that user lists in TweetDeck don't update in real time and still use the old polling mechanism. Sometimes, when you add a search very popular topic that creates more than a few updates per second, Twitter will also throttle your updates. This, of course, is not TweetDeck's fault, though you might want to keep this in mind when you are using TweetDeck to track a breaking news story.
One nifty new feature of Twitter's API is that you will also get an alert when somebody favorites one of your tweets. Until now, these actions often went unnoticed by many users. This update makes favorites a more interesting part of the Twitter ecosystem.
You can download the TweetDeck Twitter User Streams Preview here.
It is worth noting that other Twitter clients, including Seesmic, also offer beta versions of their applications with support for Twitter's User Streams API. Echofon, a popular Twitter client for the Mac also offers a User Stream preview. As far as we are aware, there are currently no mobile apps that support real-time updates yet.