New Tweetdeck version puts Twitter on crack, brings in YouTube and Flickr

There remains an ongoing desktop Twitter application war. Traditionally Tweetdeck and Seesmic have been at loggerheads for the lion share, although Tweetdeck has remained in the lead so far. Increasingly it appears that Seesmic is heading towards trying to be a much more mainstream application, for anyone on any platform, from celebs to your non-tech friends. But for power Twitter users, Tweetdeck seems to be the go-to app so far. Of course, all that can change, but that seems to be the landscape at the moment.

Just now Tweetdeck has released the latest version of its desktop Air application, this one is v0.33. It’s available right now as a manual download here. Existing Tweedeck users will get an auto upgrade in the next few days.

For uber-Tweetdeck users (like social media experts, as we know) Tweetdeck can get pretty long as they plug in every search term they can think of to avert that client disaster (Eurostar, we’re looking at you). So there are a bunch of new features which extend the app quite a bit and greatly enhance its speed of access to the Twitter firehose.

The new Column Navigator feature, at the bottom of the screen, shows a representation of all your columns and allows you to navigate around them quickly by simply clicking. Over that bar is information like the time remaining before a column refreshes and the current level of API calls remaining.

You can now view more photos and videos inside TweetDeck, meaning that for some users Tweetdeck is going to start being the way they interface with rich media. Clicking on links to Youtube videos will now show the video in a TweetDeck preview window. Flickr image links will also now open in a preview, along with pictures from Posterous, Mobypicture and Twitgoo. Users can also upload to Mobypicture.

In other words, heavy Tweetdeck users are going to start finding they use their browser less to upload media to Twiter apps.

Other changes:

• Search columns are improved with an increased ability to edit the definition of the search terms.

• A new help screen allows access to “getting started” videos, ideal for new users, alongside a search box which accesses the FAQ forum.

• There are a number of other improvements to the UI and under the hood.

• Tweetdeck says is also progressing its plans to hit other mobile platforms (read Android)

• One to watch is the increasing importance of the TweetDeck Directory which contains now thousands of Twitter Lists.

Underlying all these feature changes is a much bigger issue however.

At Le Web Ryan Sarver from the Platform Team at Twitter announced the imminent availability of an increased API rate limit for those applications accessing the API using a method called OAuth.

Thus, the major element of this release is that TweetDeck can now offer the increased level of API calls available to oAuth applications (it does oAuth in the background). This is currently 350 calls per hour. In addition, the application now autoscales, so that when Twitter unleashes the 1500 calls per hour Tweetdeck will give you all those calls.

This version of TweetDeck v0.33 now accesses the API using OAuth in the background. That means it can take advantage of this increased API limit. So the new limit is 350 calls per hour, and this is likely to increase. There is also automatic intelligent API management option for applicatinos plugging in to Tweetdeck.

That will mean greater flexibility in configuring the application without needing to worry about running out of API calls.