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Retirement of Birdsong Twitter client for Win Phone announced

Birdsong

Going, going, going, gone. The popular (and well established) Twitter client for Windows Phone is being pulled and support discontinued, according to a team blog post over on the developer's website. Development has been slow and updates pushed back, but light was at the end of the tunnel when Red Badger tasked an intern developer with the Windows Phone app to bring new features and functionality to the table.

It's a shame to see the app finally retire from service, but it's understandable with the lack of progress. So what's caused Red Badger to decide on disbanding Bridsong for Windows Phone?

The team goes into the app's history, which was developed on pre-release hardware back in 2010. Birdsong quickly became the top ranked Twitter client in 91% of supported markets, as well as the number one commercial social app in 51% of available markets. It was quite an experience, one which many consumers grew accustomed to. So what changed?

The developer has decided to pull the app before the next change in Twitter API renders it unusable, which is an issue Twitter clients have to keep on top of often. Twitter itself is reportedly half the problem since the company has decided to make it more difficult for developers to build and maintain top quality clients. We've touched on this issue in the past, and also covers the constant API alterations(and restrictions in place).

The second half of the reasoning behind the removal of Birdsong is the platform. The team reports that the Windows Phone Store hasn't quite proven itself as a financially viable marketplace to be involved in. Revenue versus cost of development and hosting the push service wasn't possible to maintain. We'll not judge a company on its decisions and will reserve judgement for those who are engaged in active development to offer opinion on whether this is the case.

It's not known if Red Badger will come back to Windows Phone to pick up where the company left off in the near future, but with Windows 8 more connected to Windows Phone than ever, it may be a difficult mobile platform to resist. To wrap-up, the blog post closes with a recommendation for users to look at Rowi.

Source: Red Badger

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Reader comments

Retirement of Birdsong Twitter client for Win Phone announced

33 Comments

I don't understand twitter or google (youtube). They don't release a stable or scalable api, refuse to build a decent Windows or Windows phone app, but their business model is based on number of visitors. Odd.

Their business model is based on the number of ads clicked. Visitors who don't see the ads do not contribute to their business model.

Does anyone actually click ads (for what is advertised)? I've only ever done so accidentally, and a couple of times to support the dev

I would also say that ad's just need to be seen to be a little effective.  Getting a product or company name heard even if the user does not click the ad has to be worth something.

Wow leaving a rapidly growing platform.... what a dumb decision! To me it looks more like they lost the twitter client war (mehdoe, whatever...) i dont care anyways... not a big fan of twitter

Yeah, it seems odd these companies that support WP7 and are now leaving that WP8 is actually growing.  Nokia is doing well, WP8 is doing better than WP7, etc...  It would seem to me now is the time to build on WP8 and become that hot app on the platform people are using.  Otherwise you come late to the game and have to hope you are so awesome that people will switch using their favorite X app in favor of your Y app which basically does the same thing.

I'm normally one for saying, F**k 'em when a company pulls out, and have every intention of never ever using them again if they ever come back, but where Twitter's concerned it's different. Quite frankly, I wouldn't want to be a developer of any app based on Twitter's service. Twitter have become the jittery Crack addict of the Social world, offering you something one day and taking it away the next. I wouldn't trust Twitter to wipe their nose, especially when they seem to think that taking away access to their business, is good 'business'.

"WP8 is doing better than WP7, etc" 
Have you seen app download figures to back that up?
I saw single digit daily downloads of Mehdoh with WP7. Guess what I see with WP8? Yep, single digit downloads. 

The only thing that shocks me about this is that they even bothered to make an announcement. I gathered that they were abandoning the app with the one-update-per-year frequency of updates, the lack of responses to emails, and the tweet from weeks ago saying that the new Twitter API was the death of Birdsong.

But why not suggest a Liquid Daffodil app as a replacement? They've more than earned a recommendation through their support for the platform, no?

They probably started looking at Rowi for feature comparison long before Liquid Daffodil had their Twitter app available, and simply went with what they knew. Heck, I've fired up LD's Twitter app maybe twice for the same reason, favoring Rowi and Mehdoh instead.

That's what I think too. My idea was that since there is such a high amount of handwringing on this site every time a developer (however minor) leaves that they'd give a shout-out to a dev that is sticking around. Not instead of Rowi, but along with. I was a Birdsong user; now I don't know what I'll use.

It's sad to see it go, but understandable. Birdsong was the first Twitter client I bought, right after I got my Lumia 800 a year ago and it was a really nice experience.

Running and paying for a dedicated server or servers is costly without continues revenue depending on how much bandwidth you allocate. I run a colocated server for my gaming community which isn't too expensive but then I don't have thousands of people on it all the time. I would think running a server or service would for Twitter services wouldn't use tons of bandwidth but paying for a server meant for a business and not bringing in a consistent amount of cash or not making enough to pay other expenses would be foolish. I thank these guys for doing what they did for the Windows Phone for as long as they did even though I do not use Twitter...

Seems like there' more going on than what was published in this announcement... Maybe some internal issues between people working there or something similar... Whatever, there are still other clients available, including the official client which does work for very basic stuff.

Why? For Twitter apps, if you're not pulling in enough cash just to even make changes everytime Twitter decides to screw you over, why would you bother?

It's not just that, it's every day is just yet another developer leaving the platform because frankly, it's not making people money compared to the other two. Can't blame them.
 

Any platform has developers leaving for all kind of reasons. It is surprising that so few left so far from WP compared to iOS or Android.
 
Also I suspect that the main reason here is Twitter's suicidal tendencies of late, not the server support (although considering that Red Badger switched to Google Apps from Exchange recently - they may have money issues as well).

Kinda shitty how these devs make their money and run. So if twitter makes another API change, this app is no use. Even if you paid for it. Im starting to see why a lot of people say they won't pay for apps. Anyway, go sit with the Carbon dev as someone I'll never buy an app fro again.

I think if enough people wanted to group together you could get a class action lawsuit to get your funds back but it's not really worth the $0.99... But I am sure there are lawyers out there that are working on a way to sue developers just to get a few bucks out of them but obviously the devs been lucky enough not to piss off any sheisty lawyers! :p

Hilarious. So let me get this straight. A company develops a twitter client that costs $0.99, for the most part WORKS (questions over push notifications), almost certainly makes a LOSS on the development of it, and your reaction is a class action lawsuit? 

Really don't understand the redundancy with multiple twitter clients, YouTube clones or any other service that people they feel need more than one version of. I use gleek on my windows phone, Blaq on my playbook and twitter on my PC and all deliver the same content just in a different wrapper so no offense but good riddance to another platform jumper.

Well i bought birdsong and carbon, like someone said bs never once sent a push and was poorly supported. I wont buy a twitter client again as the service has little value for me anymore.

If their app was economically not good, is not a problem of the Store, maybe the app lacks something, appeal, features, other are better/cheaper, or simply that kind of apps are not profitable.
We are WP app publishers too, and we are happy with our income.