04
Mar
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It's a widely-known fact that Google's unofficial motto when it comes to potential monopolies, privacy violations, and other slightly gray areas of technological ethics is "don't be evil." Lately it seems like Twitter is taking the opposite approach. The latest victim of their incredibly frustrating corporate policy is TweetDeck, the once-loved power app for Twitter that was acquired by the service itself in 2011. In a rambling post on the official TweetDeck website, the developers mentioned that they are ending support for the Android version (as well as the iPhone and Adobe Air versions, and Facebook integration) in May.

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The reason for TweetDeck's less-than-graceful exit from the mobile world is obvious: Twitter would rather you use their official app. They said as much in the TweetDeck post:

In many ways, doubling down on the TweetDeck web experience and discontinuing our app support is a reflection of where our TweetDeck power-users are going. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a steady trend towards people using TweetDeck on their computers and Twitter on their mobile devices.

...Additionally, TweetDeck AIR, TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone rely on v1.0 of Twitter’s API, which we are retiring starting this month. Leading up to that retirement, Twitter’s platform team will be performing occasional tests that will affect applications that rely on API v1.0. Over the next two months users of TweetDeck AIR, TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone may experience some outages with those apps before they are removed from their respective app stores in early May.

You may recall our less-than-favorable response to the new Twitter API policy limiting third-party apps to 100,000 users, and its subsequent effect on quality apps like Falcon Pro (among others). It's clear that Twitter wants you using official apps, and only official apps, and the user token policy is their passive-aggressive way of killing third-party clients. The popular theory is that this will allow them to increase revenue from ads and sponsored tweets.

Wanting to control the user experience isn't a bad thing in and of itself - after all, Google is about as open as megacorps get, and you still can't use a third-party app for Google+. But Twitter started with a wide-open API, and thrived while smartphones exploded - the fact that anyone could make great apps for the service is a big part of its success. Most of the outrage about the company's decisions as of late is because developers and users feel betrayed.

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Killing off TweetDeck's mobile and Air apps is another brick in the wall between Twitter and power users. While TweetDeck wasn't the best Twitter app for Android, it had its fans, and was far and away better than the limited official app. The fact that it is a de facto first-party application no doubt let them feel a bit of security. And who knows what it could have become with more development - we never even saw a tablet interface, or a scrollable widget. No matter: Twitter's message seems to be, "Use our limited app, or nothing at all."

Desktop users will still be able to use TweetDeck's web app, Chrome app, and native desktop programs for Windows and OS X.

Source: TweetDeck - An update on TweetDeck

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Paul_Werner

    They rather you use their official app but I would rather use Google+. I left Twitter shortly after G+ was made available (Facebook too). I'd rather stick to Google services anyway.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    This has finally prompted me to check out the TweetDeck Chrome app again. This time, it's not as limited as it used to be compared to the yellow Air Windows version, so at least I have an escape route to continue using TweetDeck the way I'm used to. Well, kind of.

    The biggest omission used to be the lack of filtering and per-column options. This was fixed in February: http://tweetdeck.posterous.com/column-filters-find-the-content-youre-looking.

    Removal of Facebook support is understandable considering Twitter owns TD now, but is still annoying. Damn you for selling out, TD. You could have been so much more. You could have won the Internet and charged for premium features, and made a ton of money.

    • mgamerz

      Until twitter added the 100000 token limit, cause we all know TD didn't 'add any additional functionality'.

      /s

  • Chahk Noir

    I'm installing the official Twitter app only to give it a 1* rating and immediately uninstalling it.

    • Tomi Golob

      I am with you - I'm going to do the same.

    • http://www.facebook.com/wesley.modderkolk Wesley Modderkolk

      2edgy4me

  • Yci

    I use TweakDeck and really think it's one of the best twitter, foursquare and Facebook apps for Android. The reason is that it unifies these 3 streams for me, keeps a global "read" marker, and has a neat clean UI. Another really great feature are the custom columns.
    Even Carbon doesn't have those yet. Searching every time and loosing the ready marker for searches sucks.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      And tweakdeck will unfortunately die the same way when they turn off the APIs.

      • SetiroN

        To be more precise, it's not really an API issue: tweakdeck uses the same auth as the original client so as soon as the original account will be shut down, it won't be able to log in any more as well.

        Doesn't change the substance anyway, just crossing a t.

  • Jeff

    i think its time for Google to revive Buzz and try to kill Twitter

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      What have you been drinking? We need Buzz to stay in its sealed tomb for as long as we want the sun to keep shining over our heads...

      Just use G+, for Eris' sake oO

      • Tomi Golob

        But Buzz had one neat feature...you could see Buzz posts on the Maps app. That was cool... Why don't they do the same for G+? Also I want ONE unified app for all messaging services by Google. Imagine if we had only 1 app for SMS/MMS & Talk/Messenger . A unified thingie inbox - similar to what Facebook has been doing with their Messenger for Facebook app,which is really good. Sorry for going off topic .
        Buzz was a neat idea but was lacking in many areas...it wasn't that bad as everyone suggests,come on :)

  • Barton82

    Now they have to just cut the amount of tokens at least by half.

  • GraveUypo

    if i ever used tweeter this is when i would stop.

  • http://www.RobynsOnlineWorld.com/ Robyn’s Online World

    Agreed - another strike against Twitter power users. The official Twitter apps just don't cut it.

  • http://twitter.com/LA_Crystal Crystal

    Another example of coercion marketing.

  • Josh Dobbins

    I used Tweetdeck when I first came to Android. Long ago I switched to Plume, but always liked the unified feed of Tweetdeck. I think Tweetdeck is about a year and a half late with their announcement about not supporting the Android app any longer! It hasn't been updated since Sept, 2011!

  • BBXiong

    looks like Twitter is digging its own grave, and the progress seems great

    • http://twitter.com/jusuchin85 Justin Alex

      Indeed.

  • http://twitter.com/jusuchin85 Justin Alex

    That's it. First, I left Facebook, and now I'm leaving Twitter...

  • http://katzmatt.com/ Matt Katzenberger

    I can understand shutting down TweetDeck for Android. They haven't done anything with it in forever. That said this is just another in a long line of anti-user decisions on Twitter's part.

    This and the token thing? Seriously about as "evil" as twitter can be, without actually being evil.

    The worst part though is that they're doing this to us to force us to use the mobile app they made. They have to force us, you see, because their own app is AWEFUL, and just about any 3rd party app is way better.

  • SetiroN

    A small part of me is now amused by every developer and the next churning out more twitter clients than pixels on a smartphone.

  • pcguy8088

    Tweetdeck blows chunks. I hated the app after the Air version. No way of marking the last tweet read and since 2011 the darn app leaves a black column along the right hand side of my desktop monitor. This is because Twitter in their infinite wisdom does not make the columns resizable. Both of these problems exist in the web and the Chrome addon.

  • Xpgamer7

    I still don't hate twitter. It feels closer to genuine than most large corporations and runs a good ship. Still I don't like the token thing.

  • Dan

    Whine, whine, bitch, whine. Twitter is free. Don't like their policies? Stop using it.

    Also, +1 for the "unified thingie inbox". Partially for the functionality, partially for the awesome name.

  • Dennis Caunce

    Isn't Flipboard a third party app that uses google+?

  • Derik Taylor

    I deleted my twitter account around a month ago. I never used it anyway.

  • FFS

    Dear twitter bosses,
    Please go fuck yourself in the ass with a power drill. With a large drill bit.
    Thanks.

  • Chris Paterson

    Google+, Facebook, Twitter,... They are all the same. They're in the business of selling our information. Google is the worst though. For some reason, Google has this cool hipster image, but they are exactly the opposite of what they claim to be. I wish more people were using sites like Ravetree that don't sell users personal information, track browsing history, or have ads. Fine, leave Facebook to make a statement. But to join Google+ instead, is actually much worse! They both screw us over, and view us as the product. Wake up people!