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I Miss TweetDeck Groups

March 9, 2010

I must have been sleeping under a rock — or just super busy at work — and missed the news several months ago that TweetDeck eliminated the ability to create Groups, and that columns must now be linked to Twitter Lists.

For those unfamiliar with TweetDeck, it’s a really helpful third-party Twitter app that allows you to visualize people you follow into nice windows (or columns). A few of my columns include “industry experts,” “Socialtexters,” and “Journalists and bloggers.” Now, these Groups must be tied to Twitter Lists, which are public.

This is unfortunate on so many levels, and I’m at least thankful that the Groups I did create have been grandfathered.

I’m going to miss the Groups feature, mainly because I don’t want people to know how I segment my Twitter experience. If you had, say, a “competitors” column, then you certainly don’t want that appearing as a Twitter list. The people I follow for work and segment a certain way is a proprietary thing. Sure, you can go and see every single person I follow, but I don’t want to spell things out for you.

Anyway, I hope TweetDeck reinstates the old form of Groups someday. People have complained on TweetDeck’s forums. While I agree that we’re moving towards a more public culture (and thus Lists make sense), I feel Groups was a real value proposition for these types of third-party Twitter apps. More and more, we’re seeing the functionality gap narrow between what Twitter offers out of the box and these third-party apps.

Facebook did it to its ecosystem, and I see no reason Twitter won’t do the same.

Update: My colleague Alan Lepofsky noted to me that you can still create a private group, but it’s less intuitive since the transition that happened in the fall. After you go to the + sign in TweetDeck to add a group, click “group/lists.” Then you must select a private option.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 10, 2010 9:40 am

    Hi there,
    Just wanted to say that we appreciate the strength of feeling regarding our decision to deprecate TweetDeck groups. It was not a decision taken lightly, but we simply do not have the resources to maintain 2 different kinds of grouping structures in the client.
    However, all is not lost. We have grand plans for the future of TweetDeck that will turn things somewhat on their heads, at which point, this issue should become irrelevant. Hopefully you can survive with your Lists (public OR private!) until then.
    Richard Barley (@richardbarley)
    TweetDeck Community Manager

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