It’s starting to look like the upcoming version of TweetDeck, the power-user-focused version of the Twitter app, won’t be free. Security researcher Jane Manchun Wong has discovered a work-in-progress sign-up page for the app, which boasts that it’s a “powerful, real-time tool for people living on Twitter” and offers an ad-free experience.
While the page doesn’t explicitly say that you have to pay Twitter to access TweetDeck, companies usually don’t advertise “helps you avoid the thing that makes us money” as a feature of free products (even if, like the current version from TweetDeck). And wouldn’t you know, Twitter already has a paid subscription service trying to sell it to its power users.
Twitter fills in the new @TweetDeck login page they are working on. Two new highlights:
1. A link for “the old version of TweetDeck” (even though it may no longer be usable in the future)
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) March 30, 2022
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the suggestion that Twitter wants to monetize TweetDeck. Earlier this month, Manchun Wong unearthed code those non-Blue subscribers trying to access the new version of TweetDeck seemed to be redirecting to the Twitter Blue sign-up page. And over a year ago, Bloomberg reported that Twitter was considering a subscription service component for the app. That report came just before we learned from Twitter that it was doing a “major overhaul” for TweetDeck.
We’ve seen a preview of that overhaul. It’s extensive (and divisive) and probably took a lot of work. It’s not impossible that Twitter is doing this as part of its drive to be friendlier to the community and third-party developers, but it seems more likely that the company launched Twitter Blue, knowing that TweetDeck could be a huge selling point.
The $2.99 per month subscription already feels like it’s meant for people who use Twitter professionally, so what’s essentially the pro version of its app would fit right into the service’s feature set.
There is, of course, a counterpoint to this theory: Twitter Blue is not ad-free. That fact even compensates two points in the FAQ for the service† So how would TweetDeck be ad-free proof that it will soon be part of Twitter Blue?
It’s a fair question, but honestly, that contradiction convinces me more – with TweetDeck as a blue feature, Twitter would offer its paying subscribers a way to get an ad-free experience without doing the work of getting them off its web. evict and mobile apps. It’s kind of a win-win situation (at least for Twitter).
Twitter said it had “nothing to share at the moment” in response to The edge‘s question whether it had plans to monetize TweetDeck, and it has not announced an official launch date for the TweetDeck update. When it comes though, I suspect it’ll be billed as a great new benefit for Blue subscribers. (And given how much my colleagues love TweetDeck, I also suspect quite a few new subscribers could be coming to the service if they do.)