Goodbye, @Twimbow

On some level, I guess I knew this was just a matter of time. Today Twimbow, my favorite desktop Twitter client by some distance, called it a day.

To give you some context, Twimbow did something pretty unique in organizing your social media experience, primarily over Twitter, by allowing you to color code the people you follow, providing a nice visual experience. Ofcourse it was more than just that, their 3-column approach was way better than the one-column-per-item-style most clients follow and so on. More about this in my blog post from last year.

Just as they were ready to launch version 2.0 however, the glitches began. I had a chance to speak to a couple of their developers, and learnt that the new Twitter API restrictions were at the bottom of it all, and there were in talks to see if this something that could be relaxed. I don’t want to get into it all here, but the tech world is abuzz with Twitter’s recent changes that directly impact their app ecosystem (LinkedIn, for example, had to end their Twitter sync option).

It was, therefore, a matter of time before apps that had built their business model and service around Twitter would start to feel it. Based on my understanding, one of the changes is Twitter basing their API-request cap as a multiplier of the app’s current number of users, which is naturally pretty limiting to smaller startups.

This is saddening to see. Twimbow was a brilliant client, to the point where I can’t really stand Twitter’s own Web UI, or most of the other clients out there. Even since Twimbow ran into refresh/API-call limitations, my Twitter activity has dropped drastically since I no longer have Twitter open when I’m at my desk. I still use and enjoy Twittelator Neue on the phone, and that’s where most of my tweets come from these days but the future for apps isn’t encouraging.

All said and done, I hope Twitter knows it shouldn’t be killing the ecosystem altogether. Twitter has systematically bought out providers such as TweetDeck to capture a client in each platform/device category, but it doesn’t look like they have the skill and/or capacity to maintain them all. With their new restrictions though, apps will continue to die, and while I know that newer Twitter users just use their Web UI which has gotten more feature rich, it still doesn’t have the experience I’m used to or want and at some point, I fear I’ll tire of forcing myself to get on and look at my timeline.

Maybe that’s just me.

Chirag Desai @Chirag