Twitter has announced that it will be discontinuing support for mobile versions of its multi-service posting client TweetDeck
this spring, removing the apps from the App Store
and Google Play
in May and discontinuing support for existing iOS and Android versions shortly thereafter. It will -- for the time being -- maintain the Mac and Windows
desktop clients, but will also drop the Adobe-based AIR version of TweetDeck and all Facebook integration, turning the program into just another Twitter client barely distinguishable from the official client.
The strategy follows Twitter's ongoing attempts to buy out
any Twitter clients other than its own, and in particular to stop third-party programs from offering Facebook compatibility. TweetDeck currently offers the ability to post simultaneously to both Twitter and Facebook, an increasingly-rare option as the rivalry between the two services punishes users of both -- with Facebook's Instagram removing in-line previews from Twitter, and Twitter doing whatever it can to frustrate cross-posting to Facebook.
Even before service is completely discontinued, TweetDeck users are likely to experience problems as Twitter begins upgrading its API to version 1.1, which TweetDeck for mobile and the AIR version will not support. The Mac and Windows versions of the TweetDeck app will continue as they are -- front ends for the web version -- for the foreseeable future, but will also lose Facebook integration.