Twitter is pulling the plug on the Windows version of its popular TweetDeck application, pushing users to switch to the web-based version. Although they claim otherwise, the reason is simple: web applications are easier to monetize.
Twitter purchased TweetDeck in 2011 because users found its interface much more useful than the Twitter web interface, and were switching in large numbers. This translated into a loss of advertising revenue for Twitter. There were immediate predictions that Twitter would kill off TweetDeck, and that’s finally happening.
For some users, switching to the web-based TweetDeck will not be a problem. The two interfaces are virtually identical. But having a compact, separate application has several advantages: I can configure it to start automatically with my computer; I can leave it running all the time without hurting my computer’s performance; and it’s not – like all web-based apps – inherently fragile. So I’m looking at alternatives. If I find one I like, I’ll post about it.
Mandrill email no longer free
If you use Mandrill’s email service, you should start looking for an alternative. Unless you think $20 per month seems like good value to send a few emails.
I originally started using Mandrill because my Internet Service Provider’s email service was increasingly less willing to process email from domains I host, including boot13.com. If you don’t host your own domains, and you don’t send large quantities of email, you’re unlikely to ever need a ‘transactional email’ service like Mandrill.
Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to Mandrill. Right now I’m evaluating MailGun, which is free for up to 10,000 emails per month, and supports DKIM and SPF, technologies that help to identify legitimate senders and reduce spam.