January 25, 2023

RIP to Tweetbot, my most-used app. It made looking at Twitter bearable and even quite pleasant. I liked it so much I got a shirt with the company logo on it, and because the material is so nice and soft it became my favorite shirt (my second favorite shirt that I own, by the way, is Empty Taco by Ryan Dell). Whenever people complained about some new godawful Twitter feature, I could be content in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to experience it, but now those days are over.

Tweetbot, along with other third-party apps, was unceremoniously killed in the middle of the night, which Twitter did not publicly acknowledge until five days later, citing “long-standing” rules that were added two days later.

Among its features:

  • A non-algorithmic chronological timeline that let you read oldest-to-newest and kept your place, with an inline search that only searches your timeline. This also applied to lists.
  • Being able to mute someone for a certain period of time, useful if someone’s being annoying. I didn’t even realize this was a Tweetbot feature and was dismayed to see it’s not in the official app.
  • Ability to hide everyone’s display names so you can actually tell who people are instead of trying to remember who’s behind some stupid, truncated jokey name that they change every 3 days.
  • Better support for multiple accounts. If you held down the retweet button, you could easily retweet something from another account. I see something cool and Simpsons-related, I could instantly retweet it from my rubbercat.net/simpsons account without switching. As opposed to… saving the tweet somehow, switching profiles, finding the tweet again, and then retweeting it.

There are probably more I’m forgetting. Now that I’ve been using the official Twitter app for an extended period of time it’s a bitter reminder of how much shittier the internet gets every day and the total contempt social media companies have for their users.

As for Mastodon/the Fediverse… I think things are getting better. Prior to Musk buying Twitter, whenever I looked at the “Federated” tab it was usually hentai, edgy chan-style humor, and tech people talking about how they self-programmed their toaster or whatever. Then post-Musk it was posts encouraging the use of content warnings for pictures of people making eye contact and scoldy posts about how it’s too white. It seems to have gotten relatively normal as things have died down. I came across some Fediverse drama recently and now it finally feels like an actual internet forum to me.