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Twitter is nixing TweetDeck for Windows

Twitter is set to end support for one of their most popular apps: TweetDeck for Windows. Here’s when and why they’re ending support for TweetDeck.

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Twitter for “power users”

If you are a heavy Twitter user, chances are you’ve heard of and used TweetDeck. TweetDeck is a great dashboard application that lets you manage your Twitter account(s) like a pro. Unfortunately, if you’re a Windows user, Twitter has announced their intention to end support for TweetDeck Window app, beginning April 15th.

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This move will force PC users to rely on the web version instead of the standalone app they’ve become accustomed to. TweetDeck was intended for Twitter power users, allowing users to see and organize posts by mentions, notifications, and lists. With the elimination of the standalone Windows app, PC users will have to adapt to the not-as-viewer-friendly version on the web.

Why nix the standalone app?

post, Amy Zima, project manager, stated they want “to better focus on enhancing your TweetDeck experience.”

They also stated they’d, “been working on infrastructure projects like [TweetDeck] to ensure we have a stable foundation to continue improving [it] in the future.” While Twitter is adamant nothing is changing about TweetDeck itself, merely how you access it; longtime TweetDeck fans will probably notice a few differences in the layout and organization.

Don’t panic yet

According to Twitter’s blog post, users should be automatically logged into the TweetDeck Chrome and Mac apps as long as you’re on twitter.com or Twitter’s analytics page. This should allow for faster access to the new TweetDeck. Also, Twitter gave instructions on how to pin the web version of TweetDeck to your Windows taskbar, but this may not be as useful, especially if you’ve gotten used to the standalone app. For one, the readability in the web view isn’t the same as the standalone app, but it is better than losing the capability altogether. You may remember the iOS and Android app version were also nixed, so in a way, in makes sense for Twitter to end the Windows app as well.

Perhaps, by offering TweetDeck in one place, Twitter will be able to offer more relevant, timely, updates to the service. What do you think about Twitter’s decision to nix the Windows app?

#TweetDeck

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Corrigan

    March 23, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    I’m not surprised that they’re getting rid of the desktop Tweetdeck programs, because their support for it has been godawful for years. It *still* doesn’t have proper animated GIF support, but on the other hand, it doesn’t have a lot of the garbage features that web Twitter has, like Moments and Sponsored Tweets.

    It’s a shame that Twitter killed the API for third party apps, because I’d love to see an open source TweetDeck clone.

    • Lani Rosales

      March 23, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      We’re hearing that very sentiment from a lot of people. Oh well, I guess.

  2. nollet

    March 23, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    “According to Twitter’s blog post, users should be automatically logged into the TweetDeck Chrome and Mac apps as long as you’re on twitter.com or Twitter’s analytics page.” Already the case and it’s a disaster for multi users….
    The great utility of tweetdeck for community manager is to have one tool for all accounts. Now I can’t use tweetdeck with my all accounts and see in tweeter others. Very bad news

    • Lani Rosales

      March 23, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      Right!? We predict some pretty crazy “OOPS” moments for the next few weeks as people adjust….

  3. Matthew Hall

    March 24, 2016 at 8:23 am

    As a long term, Windows based standalone Tweetdeck app user, I’m fine with this migration. However, my default and very preferred browser is Firefox. Is there a way to force clicks on links in the Chrome based Tweetdeck to open in FFox instead of Chrome? Looking for magic!

    • Lani Rosales

      March 24, 2016 at 10:17 am

      We’re not sure of the magic, Matthew, but we’ll ask around!

    • Lani Rosales

      March 24, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Matthew, we DID hear one suggestion that might work: “My suggestion would be to change the default browser preference to Firefox while using TweetDeck then you can always switch it back. That’s not the best fix, but it may work.”

      • Matthew Hall

        March 24, 2016 at 11:07 am

        Thanks. That’s a bit cumbersome and it appears that I will have to go with Chrome for now until some other deep, dark,black magic reveals itself! Thanks for the quick reply.

        • Lani Rosales

          March 28, 2016 at 10:17 am

          Sorry we’re only partially magic 🙁

  4. Lynn

    June 2, 2016 at 5:02 am

    I hate not having the desktop version of Tweetdeck. I miss it&TBH,it worked a LOT better. Plus,it was much more convienient for me,than the web version. I have been having so many issues,glitches&problems on the web version(one of said issues,is it crashes my browser constantly&sometimes several times a day,where the desktop version never did that&another issue,is DM conversation is near impossible as it freezes up,after a few messeges),that I never had on the desktop version. Plus,I now have to be on the web,to use it,whereas with the desktop version,I did’nt have to worry about it,just click the pinned tab&I’m there&tweeting,no logging onto the web to access it,or anything else. I don’t see how they thought forcing us to use the web version,is better/more convienient than using the desktop version,but I personally don’t think it is,at all. I think the desktop version should have at least been made/left an option to choose if you wanted to use it,rather than force people to have only one way to use Tweetdeck. I like Tweetdeck/Twitter&used to love it,but all their constant changes(this one definately included)is sadly making me begin like it less&less&become more frustrated with it,as time goes on. \:

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Social Media

Can you legally monitor your employees’ online activities? Kinda

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Are they ways you are monitoring your employees online even legal? Did you know there are illegal methods? Yep.

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Edward Snowden’s infamous info leak in 2013 brought to light the scope of surveillance measures, raising questions about legality of monitoring tactics. However, the breach also opened up broader discussion on best practices for protecting sensitive data.

No company wants to end up with a data breach situation on their hands, but businesses need to be careful when implementing monitoring systems to prevent data loss.

Monitoring your employee’s activity online can be a crucial part of safeguarding proprietary data. However, many legal risks are present when implementing data loss prevention (DLP) methods.

DLP tools like keystroke logging, natural language processing, and network traffic monitoring are all subject to federal and state privacy laws. Before putting any DLP solutions in place, companies need to assess privacy impact and legal risks.

First, identify your monitoring needs. Different laws apply to tracking data in transit versus data at rest. Data in transit is any data moving through a network, like sending an email. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) requires consent for tracking any data in transit.

Data at rest is anything relatively immobile, like information stored in a database or archives. Collecting data at rest can fall under the Stored Communications Act (SCA), which typically prohibits unauthorized access or disclosure of electronic communications.

While the SCA does not usually prevent employers from accessing their own systems, monitoring things like Gmail accounts could get messy without proper authorization.

Who you’re tracking matters as well regarding consent and prior notification. If you’re just monitoring your own employees, you may run into disclosure issues. Some states, like Delaware and Connecticut, prohibit employee monitoring without prior notice.

The ECPA also generally prohibits tracking electronic communication, but exceptions are granted for legitimate business purposes so long as consent is obtained.

Monitoring third party communications can get tricky with wiretapping laws. In California and Illinois, all parties must be notified of any tracking. This can involve disclosures on email signatures from outbound employee emails, or a broad notification on the company’s site.

Implied consent comes from third parties continuing communication even with disclaimers present.

If you’re wanting to install DLP software on personal devices used for work, like a company cellphone, you could face a series of fines for not gaining authorization. Incorrect implementation may fall under spyware and computer crime laws.

With any DLP tools and data monitoring, notification and consent are crucial. When planning monitoring, first assess what your privacy needs are, then identify potential risks of implementing any tracking programs.

Define who, where, and why DLP software will apply, and make sure every employee understands the need for tracking. Include consent in employee onboarding, and keep employees updated with changes to your monitoring tactics.

Protecting your company’s data is important, but make sure you’re not unintentionally bending privacy laws with your data loss prevention methods. Regularly check up on your approaches to make sure everything is in compliance with monitoring laws.

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Social Media

Should social media continue to self-regulate, or should Uncle Sam step in?

(MEDIA) Should social media platforms be allowed to continue to regulate themselves or should governments continue to step in? Is it an urgency, or a slippery slope?

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Last week, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook suffered a massive outage around the world that lasted for most of the day. In typical Internet fashion, frustrated users took to Twitter to vent their feelings. A common thread throughout all of the dumpster fire gifs was the implication that these social media platforms were a necessary outlet for connecting people with information—as well as being an emotional outlet for whatever they felt like they needed to share.

It’s this dual nature of social media, both as a vessel for content that people consume, as well as a product that they share personal data with (for followers, but also knowing that the data is collected and analyzed by the companies) that confuses people as to what these things actually are. Is social media a form of innovative technology, or is it more about the content, is it media? Is it both?

Well, the answer depends on how you want to approach it.

Although users may say that content is what keeps them using the apps, the companies themselves purport that the apps are technology. We’ve discussed this distinction before, and how it means that the social media giants get to skirt around having more stringent regulation. 

But, as many point out, if the technology is dependent on content for its purpose (and the companies’ profit): where does the line between personal information and corporate data mining lie?

Should social media outlets known for their platform being used to perpetuate “fake news” and disinformation be held to higher standards in ensuring that the information they spread is accurate and non-threatening?

As it currently stands, social media companies don’t have any legislative oversight—they operate almost exclusively in a state of self-regulation.  This is because they are classified as technology companies rather than media outlets.

This past summer, Senator Mark Warner from Virginia suggested that social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, needed regulation in a widely circulated white paper. Highlighting the scandal by Cambridge Analytica which rocked the polls and has underscored the potential of social media to sway real-life policy by way of propaganda,

Warner suggested that lawmakers target three areas for regulation: fighting politically oriented misinformation, protecting user privacy, and promoting competition among Internet markets that will make long-term use of the data collected from users.

Warner isn’t the only person who thinks that social media’s current state of self-regulation unmoored existence is a bit of a problem, but the problem only comes from what would be considered a user-error: The people using social media have forgotten that they are the product, not the apps.

Technically, many users of social media have signed their privacy away by clicking “accept” on terms and conditions they haven’t fully read.* The issues of being able to determine whether or not a meme is Russian propaganda isn’t a glitch in code, it’s a way to exploit media illiteracy and confirmation bias.

So, how can you regulate human behavior? Is it on the tech companies to try and be better than the tendencies of the people who use them? Ideally they wouldn’t have to be told not to take advantage of people, but when people are willingly signing up to be taken advantage of, who do you target?

It’s a murky question, and it’s only going to get trickier to solve the more social media embeds itself into our culture.

*Yes, I’m on social media and I blindly clicked it too! He who is without sin, etc.

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Social Media

Deepfakes can destroy any reputation, company, or country

(MEDIA) Deepfakes have been around for a few years now, but they’re being crafted for nefarious purposes beyond the original porn and humor uses.

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deepfakes

Deepfakes — a technology originally used by Reddit perverts who wanted to superimpose their favorite actresses’ faces onto the bodies of porn stars – have come a long way since the original Reddit group was banned.

Deepfakes use artificial intelligence (AI) to create bogus videos by analyzing facial expressions to replace one person’s face and/or voice with another’s.

Using computer technology to synthesize videos isn’t exactly new.

Remember in Forrest Gump, how Tom Hanks kept popping up in the background of footage of important historical events, and got a laugh from President Kennedy? It wasn’t created using AI, but the end result is the same. In other cases, such technology has been used to complete a film when an actor dies during production.

The difference between these examples and that latest deepfake technology is a question of ease and access.

Historically, these altered videos have required a lot of money, patience, and skill. But as computer intelligence has advanced, so too has deepfake technology.

Now the computer does the work instead of the human, making it relatively fast and easy to create a deepfake video. In fact, Stanford created a technology using a standard PC and web cam, as I reported in 2016.

Nowadays, your average Joe can access open source deepfake apps for free. All you need is some images or video of your victim.

While the technology has mostly been used for fun – such as superimposing Nicolas Cage into classic films – deepfakes could and have been used for nefarious purposes.

There is growing concern that deepfakes could be used for political disruption, for example, to smear a politician’s reputation or influence elections.

Legislators in the House and Senate have requested that intelligence agencies report on the issue. The Department of Defense has already commissioned researchers to teach computers to detect deepfakes.

One promising technology developed at the University of Albany analyzes blinking to detect deep fakes, as subjects in the faked videos usually do not blink as often as real humans do. Ironically, in order to teach computers how to detect them, researchers must first create many deepfake videos. It seems that deepfake creators and detectors are locked in a sort of technological arms race.

The falsified videos have the potential to exacerbate the information wars, either by producing false videos, or by calling into question real ones. People are already all too eager to believe conspiracy theories and fake news as it is, and the insurgence of these faked videos could be created to back up these bogus theories.

Others worry that the existence of deepfake videos could cast doubt on actual, factual videos. Thomas Rid, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University says that deepfakes could lead to “deep denials” – in other words, “the ability to dispute previously uncontested evidence.”

While there have not yet been any publicly documented cases of attempts to influence politics with deepfake videos, people have already been harmed by the faked videos.

Women have been specifically targeted. Celebrities and civilians alike have reported that their likeness has been used to create fake sex videos.

Deepfakes prove that just because you can achieve an impressive technological feat doesn’t always mean you should.

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