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Twitter removes ability to see what app a user tweeted with

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An update to Twitter Monday removed a minor but well-liked feature that let users see the app or service with which others were tweeting. It's the latest in a series of changes that are meant to emphasize the core Twitter experience.

At the bottom of many tweets, one would often see a subtle "via Tweetdeck" or "via Seesmic," indicating that a third-party app or site was in use. Some apps provided a clearer view of the user's followers and followed users. Others would allow a user to schedule tweets, automate attachments or link shortening, and other minor, helpful features.

Removing the "via" badge on Tweets does simplify the presentation slightly, but some users relied on it to tell whether a tweet was live or delayed, whether a person was mobile or at their computer, and other metadata valuable to power users.

As has happened before when Twitter pushes an unpopular update, the users are up in arms and #OccupyTwitter is the rallying cry. Recent changes have alienated developers and soured relations with competing and complementary services, driving many to support a less restrictive and ad-free (but not free to use) alternative called or otherwise protest Twitter's crackdown.

Given the steady rate at which Twitter has been announcing changes, it may not be too long before another update is announced. Stay tuned, and don't get too comfortable.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is