TweetDeck delivers tweets in real time

TweetDeck releases a preview of User Streams, a version of its software that displays tweets in near-real time, to the public.

A real-time version of TweetDeck is now available to the public, one month after Twitter announced a developer preview of its User Streams API, opening up third-party Twitter applications to display tweets in real time.

That API gives desktop apps like TweetDeck the ability to display tweets virtually as soon as they are published. Other Twitter activity, like retweets, mentions, search, DMs (direct messages), lists, favoriting, and following will also come in real time.

According to the TweetDeck blog, the beta version of its User Streams app was well-received by its 5,000 beta testers. However, some users have critiqued the feature, calling it "dizzying" and overwhelming.

Those comments reflect a fundamental issue that has been discussed for some time now: how do we make sense of real-time Web? Twitter users who follow hundreds--if not thousands--of active users will be inundated with a flood of unfiltered tweets.

To be sure, User Streams won't be for everyone. Those who do decide to jump on board, however, will enjoy an added feature: @ replies from friends to other users who one doesn't follow can be displayed in one column, reminiscent of the stalker-esque Facebook newsfeed.

The User Streams version of TweetDeck is available now at TweetDeck's official site.