Why didn’t Twitter kill TweetDeck?Back in February, a senior Twitter engineer announced the company was working on features that would make desktop clients unnecessary, in a (quickly-deleted) tweet spotted by MG Siegler:
If you had some of the nifty site features that we Twitter employees have, you might not want to use a desktop client. (You will soon.)
Seven months later, we got New Twitter, a complete overhaul of the website.
New Twitter is a big improvement, and was generally well-reviewed. But it doesn’t have any of the advanced features of TweetDeck or Seesmic, and it isn’t really a viable alternative for Twitter’s most active users.
We wondered how anyone at Twitter could have thought New Twitter would get people off of clients and on to Twitter.com. An insider explains:
New Twitter isn’t quite everything that was being prototyped internally a while back. In a lot of ways, it’s better. But it’s not meant for power users the way TweetDeck is.
Our source declined to tell us about the specific features that didn’t make the cut, but at a minimum, a desktop replacement would need to allow multiple customisable columns simultaneously displaying different tweet streams.
Twitter may have removed those sorts of features because they could be overwhelming to the average user. But if Twitter ever wants to control the end user experience of any of its power users, it needs to release these features to the public, perhaps as a separate site.