X (formerly Twitter) has restricted free access to its popular social management tool Tweetdeck.

Users must now pay a monthly fee of $8 for X premium (formerly Twitter Blue), which also grants a blue checkmark.

Tweetdeck allows users to view multiple timelines, manage multiple Twitter accounts, schedule Tweets for posting in the future and build Tweet collections. It is primarily used by journalists, social media managers and influencers.

Twitter acquired Tweetdeck in 2011 for $40m and conducted a beta test of a new version of the product in 2021, before Musk’s takeover.

Since its purchase by CEO Elon Musk in 2022, X has lost almost half of its advertising revenue with Musk attributing the slump to “activist groups pressuring advertisers.

X previously generated approximately 90% of its revenue from advertisers.

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By GlobalData

With the mass exodus of advertisers from X, the restriction of free access to Tweetdeck is the latest in a series of plays to generate revenue from X’s subscription service.

Since the rollout of its subscription service, the ability to purchase a blue check has led to widespread impersonation on the site,.

The news of Tweetdeck losing free access comes after Musk was accused on Tuesday of ‘throttling’ access to social media rivals and news outlets which have criticised the X CEO.

Throttling is the intentional slowing of an internet service. Users who clicked on links to the New York Times and Facebook were made to wait five seconds before accessing the page, according to tests by the Washington Post.

According to several publications, X seems to have reversed the throttling after the story was published.