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Twitter updates TweetDeck: So what's new?

Twitter has announced it has updated TweetDeck with a new tweet panel, which brings a number of changes that make it easier to tweet, send direct messages, and preview images you want to share.

The changes are rolling out to all users gradually, beginning with the web and Chrome versions of TweetDeck, followed by the Windows and Mac apps.

The new tweet panel is docked in the left-hand sidebar, and can be opened from the New Tweet button or by replying to a tweet. There's also an option to keep it open at all times. You'll still be able to access the rest of TweetDeck while the panel is open by scrolling or using keyboard shortcuts.

There are three buttons below the New Tweet box, letting you easily add an image to your tweet, schedule tweets to be sent out in the future, or write a DM instead of a tweet. When you add an image to your tweet, you'll now see a preview of it right in the New Tweet panel. If you decide you don't want to add the image after all, simply click the "x" icon at the top right of the photo preview to remove it.

You can also now reply to multiple users within a tweet, a feature many people have requested.

"Until now it was a cumbersome process: you had to copy all the @usernames that had to be mentioned, then open a New Tweet dialog box and paste them all in," Twitter wrote in a blog post. "From today you can simply click reply on each Tweet to bring in all the @usernames."

Meanwhile, when you want to mention someone in a tweet and start typing their @username, TweetDeck will now search across all Twitter usernames for a match to auto-fill the username. Before, it only searched for recently accessed usernames. This feature also extends to hashtags.

Last but not least, TweetDeck now automatically shortens links in tweets to 22 characters, but will still show you the original full URL so you can be sure you're including the correct link. Similarly, TweetDeck will now display the full URL of any links, so you can clearly see where it leads to.

Those with more than one account set up in TweetDeck can still choose the accounts from which they would like to Tweet by clicking on the row of avatars at the top of the panel. Selected accounts will show a green check mark and unselected accounts will be dimmed.