Elon Musk’s rebranding of Twitter is going swimmingly, if only in a sense redolent of OceanGate’s recent expedition. His most recent overhaul of the social media platform includes locking TweetDeck, a formerly free-to-use tool acquired by Twitter in 2011, behind an $84-per-year paywall.
This announcement comes at a time during which Musk has also expressed interest in getting rid of the option to block users on the platform–a feature that, despite Musk’s claims that it “makes no sense” on X, is required for apps of its caliber if they are to remain available on Google Play and the Apple App Store–adding to the list of seemingly nonsensical and reactive choices made by the tech titan in his efforts to rebrand.
The decision to change TweetDeck–now known as X Pro–to a paid feature was predicted by users who found the phrase “Twitter Blue” in the service’s source code back in early 2023. To use X Pro, users will need to pay for X Premium, a suite of features that costs $84 per year.
While these features add things like a blue checkmark next to buyers’ names and access to NFT profile pictures, some would argue that these are undesirable changes for those who used TweetDeck the most, and certainly not worth the additional yearly fee.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many alternatives to TweetDeck. SproutSocial and Willow are technically social media management platforms that have some similarity to TweetDeck, while Scotsman points out that Hootsuite–a paid management service–is the most likely to be worth the cost in comparison to X Pro’s potentially unnecessary “upgrades” for users who want to manage multiple accounts and so on.
More concerning than the changes to TweetDeck itself is Musk’s insistence with taking a planet-sized wrecking ball to Twitter, absolutely obliterating things that long-time users have loved for over a decade one piece at a time. There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of a logical progression of thought regarding these changes, leaving users and observers alike completely baffled.
As the full-on rebranding of Twitter to X continues, only time will tell what other drastic additions or removals Musk will sanction.