Just a few months after Twitter spent $40 million to acquire TweetDeck in 2011, it launched new HTML5 apps for the browser, Windows, and Mac. Now, with Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter still looming, and an edit button incoming, the web browser version will be all that’s left. Twitter shut down TweetDeck’s Windows app in 2016, versions for iOS, Android, and Adobe Air went away in 2013, and now the Mac version is set to disappear after July 1st.
In a tweet, the team said the change is happening “to focus on making TweetDeck even better and testing our new Preview.” Twitter power users who use the app to monitor different feeds of information got the message via a banner notification this morning. Twitter has been publicly testing an overhauled version of TweetDeck since last year and is apparently unwilling to maintain the Mac app as a wrapper for the web interface going forward. New CEO Parag Agrawal recently fired a few leaders within the company, and Musk has floated the idea of expanding Twitter’s reliance on subscription fees for revenue as opposed to advertising. While Musk has yet to take control, it’s unclear how those moves could affect this product, and narrowing availability could push more features that appear in the Twitter Blue subscription or similar packages.
Twitter’s own native Mac app bit the dust in 2018, after going years without adding features to compete with clients like TweetDeck or third-party options.
Unlike the 2012 debacle when it suddenly pulled the chair on third-party apps via tight API restrictions, in 2022 Twitter has shown a commitment to opening and updating its API (and perhaps even decentralizing access entirely, someday) to allow third-party clients that are viable options, but for many people who need to work with Twitter on their desktop at all times, there’s only one TweetDeck.
Right now, users who want to stick with the app but prefer to keep it outside of their cluttered list of browser tabs do have a few other options. 9to5Mac points out that developer BZG offers free trials of Unite for macOS or Coherence X, which allow users to turn web apps into native applications using either a WebKit backend (Unite) or Chromium (Coherence). An option that I’ve used for several years across desktop platforms is the donation-supported Tweeten, which reworks the web app as a native application on Windows (available from GitHub or the Microsoft Store) or macOS, or inside Chrome with a more customizable experience than the native site.