Twitter has been spotted working on making TweetDeck a premium feature through its Twitter Blue subscription service. According to reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who searches the code of mobile apps to spot features and upcoming changes in development, the social media giant is currently working on the addition to Twitter’s premium offering, adding it to the Twitter Blue feature list within its Android app.
Wong recently found Twitter working on adding a reference to TweetDeck in the list of Twitter Blue features in the company’s Android app. Last week, Wong came across code in the app that would restrict access to TweetDeck to users who have a Twitter Blue subscription and redirect those who don’t to sign up for one.
She also noted that if Twitter plans to go forward with making TweetDeck a paid feature under Twitter Blue, it would be locking out millions of users who don’t have access to the subscription service yet, as it’s currently only available in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. TweetDeck is currently free and doesn’t include any ads, which makes it a popular go-to service for people who don’t want to use Twitter’s web interface.
When asked about the possible change, a spokesperson from Twitter told TechCrunch that the company doesn’t have anything to share at the moment.
Before Twitter Blue officially launched last year, Bloomberg reported that Twitter’s upcoming subscription feature might charge people to use TweetDeck. But, once Twitter Blue launched, the premium service didn’t make any mention of TweetDeck, launching instead with with tools to organize bookmarks, read threads in a clutter-free format and an “Undo Tweet” feature.
This wasn’t the first time that Twitter has explored the idea of asking users to pay for TweetDeck, and the company was looking into ways to charge for app back in 2017. At the time, some Twitter users were asked to fill out a survey about what features they would want to see in TweetDeck and whether they would be willing to pay for an advanced version of the service, but the concept was never actually tested.
Twitter Blue initially launched in Australia and Canada in June 2021 and rolled out in the United States and New Zealand in November. As it expanded, Twitter Blue added early access to new features via the recently launched Twitter Labs and offered ad-free news articles from hundreds of publishers through Twitter’s springtime acquisition of Scroll. In the United States, the subscription service costs $2.99 per month.
TweetDeck initially started off as a third-party app, but Twitter bought the company in 2011 for $40 million. The service makes it easier to manage and post to Twitter accounts and offers a convenient way to view multiple timelines and feeds in one place.