Twitter Backs Down on Quick Bar in Latest Update


Twitter introduced an update for its iOS application last weekend that included the Quick Bar, a black bar that featured trending topics prominently displayed at the top of a user’s tweet stream. It was met with resounding and forceful hatred by the Twitter user community, and quickly nicknamed the “dickbar.” A new update today doesn’t take away the dickbar, but it does make it far less annoying.

With the new update, the dickbar still sits on top of your tweet stream; that’s apparently not something Twitter is willing to make optional. But now, mercifully, it doesn’t stay within view as you scroll through your timeline. While I still don’t find the Quick Bar was in any way helpful (I rarely pay attention to trending topics, instead trusting my followers to surface things that I’ll find interesting), at least now it no longer really takes anything away from the experience, either.

As Mathew points out, the Quick Bar is a step toward making Twitter a profitable business, something which obviously irritated users who have certain expectations of the network as a free service. Twitter can’t make the Quick Bar an option, since it would mean giving up on or stepping back its promoted trends monetization efforts. But users should realize that if they don’t want ads in their free official Twitter app, a static Quick Bar is a very small price to pay instead.

This whole Quick Bar fracas should also remind users that the official app isn’t the only game in town. Twitter clients and which was best were once the subjects of hotly contested debate. The availability of an official solution has really eclipsed many of the great third-party options available. But as Twitter struggles to turn itself into a business, third-party apps once again have a chance to come to the forefront. Twitter’s App Store rating suffered hugely (down to only two stars) in the wake of the Quick Bar’s introduction, making this a good time to strike. Alternate Twitter clients might want to consider sales or even temporary giveaways to highlight their better-rated product’s visibility. Tapbots was smart, in that it just announced that its own Tweetbot app was currently in beta testing yesterday, which (coincidentally or not) was nicely timed to benefit from all the negative attention Twitter has been getting.

Do you use the official client? If so, would or has the Quick Bar cause you to switch? Do you think third-party Twitter apps still have a chance against official channels?

Related GigaOM Pro content (sub req’d):


Comments have been disabled for this post