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Twitter kills off TweetDeck for mobile and drops Facebook in one fell swoop

It seems Twitter’s quest to streamline and cull every Twitter-y thing that isn’t actually Twitter isn’t over quite yet. The social network has announced that it’s planning to shut down the mobile and desktop-based AIR versions of its TweetDeck app because… well, you can just use the official Twitter apps instead. Oh, and it’s also pulling the plug on Facebook.

In a blog post, TweetDeck, which was acquired by Twitter in 2011, said that it would be discontinuing support for its AIR, iPhone and Android apps, and the mobile apps would be removed from their app stores at the beginning of May. It also warned that continuing to use the apps until then could be problematic — they rely on an older version of its API which it will be conducting tests on in the future, which could lead to outages for users.

It seems that the decision to retire some of the versions of TweetDeck was strengthened by the extensive work on Twitter’s mobile apps, which have made it easier for power users to manage multiple accounts on the go without the dedicated TweetDeck app. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen a steady trend towards people using TweetDeck on their computers and Twitter on their mobile devices,” said TweetDeck. “That said, we know this applies to most of our users –– not all of them. And for those of you who are inconvenienced by this shift, our sincere apologies.”

Interestingly, despite attempting to explain the reason behind killing off the mobile and AIR apps, the team had nothing much to say about the decision to axe Facebook, stating simply that they will “discontinue support for our Facebook integration”.

To capitalise on the trend of desktop use of TweetDeck, the team said it will make the Chrome app and web-based versions of the tool top priority, rolling out regular updates and improvements to those users first, followed by ones using the Mac and PC apps.

It’s an interesting move — desktop and web over mobile? What?! — and it seems to be a case of pushing the official Twitter apps even more and echoing some of the sentiments spoken by Google about putting more wood behind fewer arrows. In recent months, Twitter has become increasingly concerned with controlling access to its API and with shutting out anything that mimics the functionality of the official Twitter apps — from alternative Twitter clients to links to other social networks like LinkedIn.

In addition to this, it has also been giving a lot of attention to its mobile offerings to encourage users to use the apps (and see all those paid promoted posts) — from adding photo filters to redesigning the search and discover functionality of the apps.

Author | Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in... More

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