Goodbye Tweetbot

Friday, January 20, 2023

I have been actively using Twitter for years. I joined in late 2009 and have fond memories of using it. From a desktop first, then an iPod Touch using the official Twitter app, and then my old Sony Ericsson K790i by SMS-ing tweets, before switching over to using smartphones and using apps.

I did use the default Twitter app for a bit, but Tweetbot was the first iOS app I bought on the App Store in 2013, and added it immediately onto my dock where it stayed ever since. I have used Tweetbot since then. I continued to use Tweetbot through the years by buying / subscribing to new versions, despite the Twitter API always limiting third-party clients and not supporting all of the features the official apps and websites had.

And I lived with that deficit, because Tweetbot felt like home. Over the years, I have tried using the official app multiple times (and always have the app on my phone), but it has always been terrible. The experience of using Tweetbot was always so much better than the official app. Tweetbot didn’t have ads, only showed me tweets from my (curated) followers list, had a chronological timeline, maintained my point in the app even if I fell behind, was customizable, etc. But most of all: it had a so much better user experience that put me first. It never felt cluttered and made Twitter inviting.

Over the last ~3 years, I had reduced tweeting but I still consumed from it fairly regularly. Twitter was still an enjoyable experience when I wanted it because I had Tweetbot. The negativity since Elon Musk got involved in March 2022, though, has been overpowering, and I removed Tweetbot from my dock in early December 2022.

Tweetbot shutting down after Twitter abruptly disabled its APIs, though, does convince me to wane my use of Twitter even further. Twitter without Tweetbot doesn’t feel right. Trust me, I have tried! Mastodon is interesting, but it isn’t a Twitter replacement. Not yet atleast.

We’ll see where this journey goes, but until then, goodbye Tweetbot 🫡. Thank you for giving me such a pleasant Twitter experience for almost a decade. You will be sorely missed.