Brian Fagioli, writing at BetaNews:
When I first began using the Mac, I downloaded a bunch of software I thought I would enjoy. As a big Twitter user, I obviously installed the official app for that social network. You know what? It sucked. I tried to make it work, but ultimately, using a web browser was just a much better experience. On any desktop operating system, users are wise to use a browser. Let’s be honest — Twitter apps are best saved for smartphones and tablets. Twitter the company apparently agrees, as today, it officially kills the Mac app.
Later, he makes this profound observation:
Look, macOS is great for many things, but for accessing the web — including social media — it is no better than a Chromebook. Heck, from a security perspective, Google’s desktop operating system is arguably superior to macOS when surfing the web. And yeah, a computer running it can be had for $200. So?
Despite many routes I could take to assail Fagioli’s argument, I’ll begin with viewing social media as merely a web-based phenomenon. Is the Instagram experience better on the web? How about Snapchat? It’s true — both services started as apps. Twitter began as a bare-bones web service designed around the limitations of SMS messaging. In fact, I’m quite certain my first Twitter post was sent via SMS.
Should Twitter shutter its “much better experience” on the web to revert back to an SMS-focused model? Surely not, because how things begin isn’t necessarily how they should remain.
Considering Twitter apps on Apple platforms specifically, they have long been a playground for creative design and innovative implementation of the Twitter API.
Tweetie, which was used as the original basis of the official Twitter apps for both iOS and macOS, was the first app to ever use a pull-to-refresh gesture on iPhone. Think about it: A Twitter app is the genesis of a user interface convention that has been adopted by other app developers and Apple itself.
I’ve never been a fan of building one’s business model on top of another business and Twitter apps of any variety fall into this category. Yet, bringing more people into Twitter’s web implementation benefits Twitter rather than its users: Twitter gains control while users lose one more access point into what remains a very important social media experience.
Don’t give in. There are two great native Twitter apps for macOS that combine sensible functionality with great access to Twitter. Purchase Twitterrific or Tweetbot today — what you’ll pay is even less than a $200 Chromebook.