A new leak has claimed that the popular Twitter dashboard tool TweetDeck will soon be placed behind the Twitter Blue paywall, with access cut off for users who don’t cough up for the premium service.
The leak comes from Twitter user @512x512 (opens in new tab), a coder reverse-engineering the mechanics of Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter 2.0’. More specifically, the user was able to locate a line of text within TweetDeck’s website code, which read ‘Welcome to TweetDeck, a feature of Twitter Blue’.
BREAKING: Tweetdeck to soon be exclusive to Twitter Blue. pic.twitter.com/EmIU5kz0lcFebruary 8, 2023
People (myself included) are understandably angry about this; TweetDeck is an extremely popular application for many Twitter users, especially those managing professional or brand accounts. Since its third-party release in 2008 and purchase by Twitter for $40 million in 2011, it has consistently ranked as one of the most-used Twitter clients outside the main app.
According to @TitterTakeover, an account that posts news related to the social media platform, a newly refurbished version of TweetDeck will become available soon, most likely locked behind the ‘ad-free’ subscription tier of Twitter Blue.
Elon, why must you hurt us in this way?
Of course, it’s worth noting that when Tesla boss Elon Musk took over Twitter last year, he fired a ridiculous amount of people—including, funnily enough, the entire team of software engineers responsible for maintaining and improving TweetDeck. As such, I’m not overly hopeful that this ‘new and improved’ TweetDeck will actually be that great.
Even if it does turn out to be an even better version of the tool I know and love, putting it behind a paywall is just a colossal dick move from Musk’s Twitter and I’m furious about it. TweetDeck is a vital tool for a huge number of people who use Twitter to support their professional endeavors, and locking it away unless we pay for Blue is an incredibly frustrating move.
Of course, this is an unconfirmed leak right now, so take it with a pinch of salt—it’s possible that Musk will see the backlash here and walk back this decision. That seems even more plausible given how recently he backtracked on charging users for access to the Twitter API.
Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a series of Twitter gaffes for the South African businessman, a list which seems to go on and on (and on… and on… and on.) Most recently, a widespread outage caused by “multiple internal & external issues” resulted in most users being unable to tweet or even access Twitter at all, spurring rumors that the platform may be about to limit tweets, messages and follows even further. It’s fair to say that all has not been well since Musk took over the platform.
If Elon does go ahead and put TweetDeck behind a paywall, I’m sure some users will spring for the ad-free Blue subscription to retain access. But to me, Twitter is starting to look like a rapidly sinking ship, and this is yet another leak filling the lower decks with water. Far more users are likely to reject the change on principle, and my prediction is that if this goes ahead, it’ll drive even more people away from Elon’s social media hellsite.