As most public relations agencies in Manchester and beyond probably noticed, back in January reports began circulating that one of Twitter’s most prominent subsidiaries was at risk of being removed from the register by Companies House after failing to file any accounts. It now seems unlikely that will happen, albeit big changes are still afoot.
According to a story on The Drum today, TweetDeck AIR will be discontinued, along with the iPhone and Android apps, allowing its developers to concentrate on web and Chrome based versions. Associated downloads will be removed from online stores in May, and the programmes in question will stop working shortly after that time.
Mac and PC versions will survive the cull, which is good news for anyone who prefers not to rely on browser-based windows in order to keep an eye on social media land. And plenty do, with scores of people taking to various digital soapboxes to complain about this decision, which follows Twitter’s switch to a different application programming interface (API) in 2012, affecting the performance of TweetDeck. At this time restrictions were also introduced on what developers could use the platform for.
Less than two years ago Twitter bought the London-start up outright for more than $40million in cash and stocks. Considering TweetDeck had only required $3.8million of investment by that point the amount paid to acquire it was significant, and has left many perplexed as to why nails have been securing the coffin lid tighter month by month since then. Interestingly, as reported on the International Business Times, this has also led some developers and digital entrepreneurs to criticise the apparent uncertainty involved in trading via the 140-character high street.
“I sure as hell wouldn’t build a business on Twitter, and I don’t think I’ll even build any nontrivial features on it anymore.” At least that’s what Instapaper creator Marco Arment said not so long ago. No need for an explanation, clearly there’s plenty of unease surrounding the network’s approach to third parties. Still, at least they’re not complete outsiders, as is the case with Facebook- which will no longer be supported by TweetDeck in any form.
Of course, realistically TweetDeck was never the most reliable way of posting to the world’s largest online community, especially if you’re charged with managing multiple groups for different user accounts. With that in mind, this detail isn’t really going to add much time onto many people’s days, but nevertheless speaks volumes about the ongoing hostilities between Zuckerberg Corp. and the brand with the little blue bird. As if we really needed another example.