Twitter’s taking the next steps towards making its new version of TweetDeck a subscriber-only option, by removing the Mac version of the app, in favor of the generic web dashboard.
We’re saying goodbye to TweetDeck for the Mac app to focus on making TweetDeck even better and testing our new Preview. July 1 is the last day it’ll be available.
You can still use TweetDeck on web and more invites to try the Preview will be rolling out over the next few months!
— TweetDeck (@TweetDeck) June 1, 2022
As Twitter notes, it’s removing the Mac-specific version to focus on a single platform update – though as noted, the removal could also point to its development of a new paid version of the app, which would be accessible via Twitter itself, as opposed to being a separate tool.
Twitter’s been working on a new version of its tweet management app since last July, when it announced the first stage of beta testing for its ‘TweetDeck Preview’, which includes updated column layouts, multiple management decks, improved search tools and more.
Twitter’s added various new TweetDeck Preview additions since, including improved video playback in-stream. But along with that, there have also been hints that Twitter’s looking to make TweetDeck a paid option, likely built into its Twitter Blue offering.
Twitter hasn’t directly said that this is the way it’s headed, but it has also provided some indications.
Last July, when the TweetDeck Preview beta was launched, then Twitter Product Chief Kayvon Beykpour made this note:
“We’re exploring how we can give people more customization and control using TweetDeck. We want to get feedback on how we can expand TweetDeck’s offerings for those who use it the most. We’ll take these lessons into account as we explore what TweetDeck could look like within Twitter’s subscription offerings later on. We’ll have more to share soon as we learn from these tests.”
So the indications are that, eventually, when it’s made generally available to everyone, users will have to pay to access the upgraded TweetDeck.
Which I’m not sure that many will do.
While the TweetDeck Preview looks interesting, there are no major, compelling new additions to the app’s functionality, nothing that would suddenly make it a ‘must have’ platform, and would justify the extra spend. Especially considering there are so many third-party platforms that offer similar tools. Twitter could make TweetDeck better than all of them, by incorporating all of their various functionalities, but thus far that doesn’t seem like the direction that Twitter’s looking to take with the new app.
That could, however, be a lucrative pathway for Twitter to consider. If it were to add significantly valuable business tools, like improved analytics, updated search tools (covering different elements of the app) and more competitor research options, it could likely charge significantly more than the current $3 per month for Twitter Blue, and businesses would pay.
Twitter scaled back its analytics tools in 2020, with the removal of its Audience Insights element, and it hasn’t added any alternative data options since. If it were to beef up these tools in a new business tier of its subscription offerings, that could be a valuable offering.
But the current TweetDeck Preview is little more than a re-shell of the current, free app. Which could make it a pretty hard sell – unless Twitter’s still looking to build in more before a bigger launch.
But then again, Twitter doesn’t really seem to get this aspect, going on the Twitter Blue example at least. Undo tweets, new color options, NFT profile pictures, and a couple of other tools have sparked some interest, but they’re not really worth the monthly fee for the majority of users.
That’s why Twitter Blue’s not really moving the needle as yet. As the company noted in its Q1 2022 report, its subscription and other revenue elements brought in $94 million in the period – which actually represents a 31% decrease year-over-year.
Note that Twitter Blue was launched to US users in November last year, so really, based on early interest, Q1 should have seen close to maximum interest in the option.
Clearly, the things that Twitter deems valuable are not the same as what users are willing to pay for, which could mean that it is indeed going to go ahead with this updated version of TweetDeck as a paid offering.
Which seems like it’s getting closer to launch:
Will users care? Probably not, not unless Twitter has some big changes in store that it hasn’t yet added to the Preview as yet.
Maybe those are coming, but if they aren’t, I can’t see this being a big winner for the app as it works to meet its ambitious growth and revenue targets.
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