End of an era as Rowi Twitter app comes to an end on Windows Phone and Windows 8

Twitter apps have become a tough business these days, especially once Twitter imposed restrictions via ‘tokens’. This artificial wall basically punished popular apps by limiting how many customers could download and use the Twitter service via third-party systems. The latest company to throw in the towel is Rowi, built by the guys at Hidden Pineapple.

First coming onto the Windows Phone scene in early 2011, Rowi quickly became to the go-to Twitter app for many people. With its deep black and minimalist design, push notifications and all-around general smoothness, it was for a long time a shining example of Windows Phone development. Later, a Windows 8 version appeared as well.

But it was around August of this year where problems started cropping up with the token limit. We reported that the free ‘lite’ version of the app had to be pulled and it was not looking good for the paid one down the road.

Today, the axe has dropped on both the paid Rowi app and the Windows 8 version. In an official statement from Hidden Pineapple:

“Unfortunately Rowi has hit up against the user limit imposed by Twitter on traditional third-party Twitter apps so we needed to pull it from the store(s). The user limit is on Twitter's end so new Rowi users would be unable to use the app after downloading it. This is far from what we wanted or expected at any point in the nearly three years of Rowi's existance but we have little choice to move aside and see what experiences Twitter and others can bring to the new Windows* ecosystem.If you've used Rowi on any device, thank you! You've helped to make it a pretty decent Twitter experience on a platform mostly ignored by Twitter until fairly recently. If you already have Rowi installed it will still continue to work but there will be no future updates. #RIPRowi”

As a result Hidden Pineapple is discontinuing development and support.

To Erik Porter and Nathan Heskew, the minds behind Rowi, we salute you and wish you the best of luck!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Yeah not sure why anyone would waste time writing a twitter app at this point with those ridiculous API restrictions.
  • Does this mean that if I get a new Windows Phone I won't be able to continue using Rowi?
  • You are correct
  • FWIW, I just activated a warranty replacement for my L920 and I was able to reinstall Rowi from my list of purchased apps at  windowsphone.com. YMMV.  
  • Nooooo!!!
  • God damn it.
  • "If you've used Rowi on any device, thank you! You've helped to make it a pretty decent Twitter experience on a platform mostly ignored by Twitter until fairly recently"
    Anybody else feels the anger? And yeah, it's sad. :(
  • Probably all of us....
  • Pour one out for Rowi.
  • Stupid twitter monopoly
  • A helpful reminder about the dangers of building your business on someone else's platform. Take note all you folks relying on Facebook.
  • Sigh :(
  • I guess we have to use the official twitter app
  • Can someone explain to me why exactly twitter is doing this? Like I'm confused
  • Because they want people to use their app, and they don't like the idea of someone else making money on their platform.
  • Ah I see.
  • Twitter butchered Tweetdeck and now Rowi? Shame on them...
  • Tweetdeck was why I started using Twitter. It was a great app on Android. Then it went down the drain.
  • RIP Rowi :'(
  • I feel bad im taking a token spot....i dont even use rowi or twitter that much anymore
  • Nicely done, Twitter assholes! ALL official Twitter apps suck big time (not to mention a header SHADOW in the WP app). Twitter exists because of the ecosystem of 3rd party apps. Now they're killing those apps. This is what they should have done: 1. make an advertising API 2. using this API is mandatory for all 3rd party apps 3. split ad revenue 50-50 4.??? 5. profit!
  • They are assholes for wanting to control their service? Twitter exist in part of 3rd party apps, but really, at the rate they were growing, and EVERYONE trying to make a twitter app. What else were they to do? Why would they do a 50/50 revenue split with anyone.
  • No, but they are assholes for not making equal or better apps while they kill if the third party ones.
  • Sucks for options, but the official Twitter ap works perfect for all my Twitter needs.
  • Bye Rowi!
  • They haven't updated the app in over 7 months. Pretty sure they had already abandoned development prior to today's news.
  • It's not like today they decided to not update Rowi. They were by far the most popular Twitter app on Windows Phone for the longest time, they used up those tokens fast. Don't put the blame on Rowi, it really should be directred at Twitter. It is their platform, but third party apps really helped Twitter take off with power users. 
  • Yeah, they hadn't responded to my support requests for several months. The only difference between today and the last six months is that there are more page clicks for WPCentral.
  • I think the same i paid like 5$ for this app and the support is been really bad, so i won't miss anything but the money I paid
  • You mean like app.net?
  • Hidden Pinapple have been working on an APP.NET app for a very long time. I wonder if it ever will be released.
  • Any twitter apps that people would recommend, official is okay but hate when i refresh and a big chunk is missing
  • Mehdoh is great.
  • I use tweet it. Its the best
  • I use Gleek and Twabbit as my twitter apps. Twabbit is somewhat similar to rowi ;-)
  • This is just one more demonstration of how using someone else's API is never a sure thing. Phooey on Twitter.
  • I better get my money back!! Lol
  • Been on twitter since the beginning. Without third party apps I would never have been on the social media platform for this long. First they refused to create their own app, and then buying out third party apps like Tweetdeck (and butching them) and when they do make their own app, it sucks (their recent redesign is built all around selling followers). Twitter wouldn't be as big as it is today without third party developers. To see them go behind and stab devs in the back is heartbreaking. 
  • Uh man that sucks , I really loved Rowi
  • Why can't they continue to give updates to those that did actually, you know, pay for the app?
  • The official app is fine for my needs. Yeah it's a shame...but twitter wasn't gonna let other companies make money to let users be a part of their free network forever. If this had happened a few years ago, then sure, we'd all have reason to scratch our heads at ?Twitter's illogic. However, it's happened now...when people who would have twitter either already have it...or will in the future regardless of 3rd party apps. We can't keep kidding ourselves that 3rd party options have an unlimited or even equal lifespan to the 1st party networks/apps. Eventually the first party companies are gonna stop giving others a share of the pie which, at the end of the day, is theirs to do with what they like.
  • I bought this app, then twitter updated their own and haven't used it since. Was a good app though, I can see why some people aren't happy.
  • Thank you, Daniel! Hidden Pineapple has been hard at working building apps for other people (like Microsoft), but you will eventually see new original apps from us. It's a sad day for us, but was a great journey thanks to all of you. Thank you! -Erik
    Co-Founder, Hidden Pineapple
  • Thanks for being an awesome developer on the WP platform and thanks for continuing to build apps for us! I hope you find even more success!
  • Erik, Is there any reason why you can't make a Rowi 2 app, with exactly the same codebase and republish as a separate app with a new counter? Then just keep developing both apps at the same time?
  • Because they would still have the same API "ID". Twitter would have to issue them a new one, which they won't do. It really has nothing to do with the App name.
  • That and we'd never get streaming access again for our push notification service so there wouldn't be the possibility of push anymore. This decision didn't come lightly. Been thinking about it for a long time.
  • Erik, for your new apps you might want to consider www.appcampus.fi
  • "We are currently not accepting online applications." :(
  • Good it sucked anyway. My opinion
  • Sad. Hoping for the best to the Rowi's developer team. How I hope Twitter would improve their app especially for Windows 8. It need more features like quote tweet.
  • How come apps like tweetbot on iOS are able to be so successful even with the token limitation?
  • They were already over 100k users, so had other limits. Plus I guarantee you there would have been conversations between Tapbots and Twitter over this.
  • Yup, but even they'll be dead someday too. :(
  • Screw the internet, thou giveth thou taketh away next they'll won't us pay a la cart for each website
  • Twitter is the weirdest business model anyway. Not sure why "regular people" even use it. If you're not a media personality or a corporation, what's the point?
  • I actually see the possibility of another company swooping in and usurping Twitter. Twitter is huge now, but tech moves fast and people are willing to change. MS should relaunch the LIVE brand and introduce something similar, but different. Kind of like Google did with Google+.
  • Yeah, because Google+ is so great....
  • Open source it!
  • What a cock of shit. I'm glad I left them.
  • Ahem...crock
  • LOL... woops sorry
  • Rowi is absolutely my most used WP app. I've tried all the others and while several have more features, none suit *my* needs as well as Rowi. I'll keep using it as long as it continues to work.
  • Out of curiousity - what's to stop them from creating essentially "rowi 2"?  Like basically the same app, but rebranded, using a different developer token... then continue updates for both the original and new?  Or does Twitter have some way of preventing that? 8) Still, I agree, although Twitter does have a right to impose restrictions on use of its service, setting a hard limit with limited options for successful apps is rather poor of them. :/  
  • Twitter would probably figure it out when the devs request a new token.
  • I'm not a Twitter power user by any stretch, and although I've settled on using the official app right now I've tried a bunch of the third party ones and Rowi was always a favorite.  Thanks to those guys for making the app and supporting it in the first place.  Good luck going forward!
  • Gee,back then,I liked this app so much,I bought it,been using it since the WP7 days,definitely one of the better twitter experiences in this platform. What a pity. Success to you guys in future ventures.
  • I hope they don't take down Mehdoh. Best Twitter app
  • Rowi used to be my go to twitter app when I first got a windows phone. This was back when the official app was complete thrash. But ever since the official one did that major overhaul, I have been using the official one and Rowi less and less and now I do not use it at all. I love the official app, it works great and looks great plus no ads. But RIP Rowi, you will be missed :(
  • Rowi is my all time favorite app. Really bummed right now.
  • I use the official app more now, guess i shld uninstall Rowi. Nice app it was...
  •   That sucks. This was the first Twitter app I used on my Trophy before the the official one became available.
  • +1
  • This was one of my most frequently used apps. I'm wistful to learn of its abandonment. Time to turn to the official app, unless someone can recommend a better alternative.
  • I still don't understand the point of twitter, despite having an account?
  • I hate you twitter. Rowi was awesome. RIP
  • I love Rowi.I'm said to see it go. However the official client is more than adecuate for me. I will miss one feature though: the ability to see load the conversation history between you and another person. Sometimes I get a reply from someone a day later and I can't remember what they are replying about becaue the official client doens't show any history.