'Tweetbot': Dead at Version 4.9 Update

Death is simply the next great app venture.

Tweetbot, 7, of Tapbots LLC, died August 15, 2018, on its Version 4.9 update on the App Store. It was born on April 14, 2015 for iPhone users, the child of Texas-based iOS developer Paul Haddad and designer Mark Jardine. It is the oldest of two siblings, Pastebot and Calcbot.

Intended for Apple platforms, Tweetbot was a third party client application with features like multiple account switching, in-timeline viewing of images, YouTube video thumbnails, and push notifications, and temporary muting of certain users and topics within the timeline view.

Best known as “a Twitter client with personality,” Tweetbot’s latest iteration, Version 4, synced a user’s timeline across an iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It provided a column view for the iPhone 6+ and iPad, where rotated screens could be split into lists, search results, mentions, statistics, or an activity stream. A night mode was available.

The 4.9 update indicated that, on August 16, Twitter would disable “parts of their public interface” that Tweetbot relied on for its features. Without alternatives offered, Tweetbot passed on surrounded by loved ones. The timeline streaming on wifi and notifications for likes, retweets, follows, and quotes became disabled, along with delayed push notifications for Twitter mentions and direct messages, removed “Activity” and “Stats” tabs, along with the Watch app.

Tweetbot user and journalist Casey Newton remarked after its passing that, “This is basically the end of… other third-party apps… as we know them.”

Soon after the news of Tweetbot’s passing broke, loved ones chimed in via its parent app. “Tweetbot is essentially shutting down today and now using this website instantly got 85 percent less fun,” one fan said. “Someone just needs to tell Alex Jones to say that he uses Tweetbot then all functionality will miraculously be reinstated immediately. (I’m working on a similar plan for Twitter for Mac.),” another tweeted.

The new access system put in place by Twitter is suggested to be the root cause of Tweetbot’s journey to app heaven, since the social media platform is restricting access for all third-party applications. New tweets cannot stream into an app in real time, and notifications are delayed and blocked in some cases. While the remains of Tweetbot will still function, the structure that made the app so popular is no more.

Tweetbot is survived by TweetDeck, Buffer, and, insanely, Alex Jones’ Twitter account. A service will be held on the social media platform that ensured its birth, and, ultimately, its demise.

Sarcastic tweets and pointed insults @jack are welcome.

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