Twitter rolled back its decision to introduce a “new and improved” version of its popular TweetDeck platform. Just days after the launch, the social media giant quietly restored the old version, including free API access. This unexpected move has left users and developers wondering about the platform’s future, as uncertainty looms throughout this reinstated “better” version.
Originally introduced as a free, standalone application in 2008, TweetDeck quickly gained popularity among Twitter users. Its intuitive interface and powerful features allowed users to view multiple feeds organized in customizable columns. Recognizing its potential, Twitter acquired TweetDeck and later transformed it into a paid feature, leading to the discontinuation of several third-party apps like “Harpy” that relied on the free API access provided by Twitter.
Last week, Twitter announced the launch of a new and improved TweetDeck, positioning it as an exclusive tool for users subscribed to the premium subscription service, Twitter Blue. The company stated that after 30 days, only Twitter Blue subscribers would have access to this enhanced version. However, the new TweetDeck experienced a temporary outage shortly after its release due to Twitter’s decision to limit the number of tweets users could view. Users also pointed out the absence of the Activity Tab, a significant feature in the previous version.
In an unexpected turn of events, Twitter silently restored the older version of TweetDeck, along with free API access. Surprised users noticed its reappearance following the launch of Meta‘s rival app, Threads, which triggered the reactivation of TweetDeck’s legacy API. This sudden restoration has reignited hope for third-party developers whose apps were rendered obsolete by Twitter’s decision to monetize API access. However, the lack of an official announcement from Twitter or its new chief, Linda Yaccarino, raises questions about the long-term availability of this accessible “better” version.
The restoration of the old TweetDeck version has brought relief to users and developers who rely on its functionality. However, concerns remain about the platform’s sustainability. Industry experts, including Roberto Doering, the creator of the Harpy app, anticipate that Twitter may once again restrict access to the legacy API. Mr. Doering expressed his skepticism on Harpy’s GitHub page, cautioning that the newfound access to the legacy API does not guarantee the long-term viability of third-party apps, as they still violate Twitter’s terms of service.