Social media giant Twitter announced on March 5 that it will be retiring its TweetDeck desktop and mobile apps in a shift to a more web-based experience. The move will also remove the integration with Facebook, which never saw a large adaption by users.
The popular application’s power users expressed dismay at the decision, labeling it as a “death knell”. TweetDeck mobile was an innovative way of using social media, as it allowed users to keep track of multiple streams simultaneously, no matter where they might be. Twitter states that the change will help TweetDeck move to a higher place and has proved this point by hiring many new people to work on the application’s team.
A company blog post stated that the removal of the mobile apps is merely reflecting a trend among the majority of users who are choosing to use official apps, such as Twitter for Android and Twitter for iPhone, rather than TweetDeck. Twitter has added more support for its official apps through the addition of enhanced edit and search capabilities, better user profiles and smart photo filters to complement its picture service.
TweetDeck was a third-party software until purchased by Twitter in 2011. The move was viewed by some as a way to have complete control over how users experienced the service, which angered the app developers who had strived to popularize Twitter. The company has been encouraging people to make use of the official apps.
Twitter is eliminating Facebook support in TweetDeck and will be removing the Android, iOS and AIR apps in the early part of May. All three operate on a Twitter API that will be discontinued later this month. The apps will cease working as soon as they are taken out of stores.
In the meantime, the team of TweetDeck techs will focus on the Google Chrome and web applications. The company’s goal is to make these apps the best way to experience Twitter while continuing to add new features and innovations. Currently, TweetDeck can be added to the Chrome browser through an official extension, while Firefox users must resort to the web version of the app.
No matter what side of the issue people are on, it is clear the Twitter experience is changing as the service grows and moves on into the future. Whether this move will benefit Twitter’s 200 million users over the long term remains to be seen.