In a move triggering debate throughout tech and designer communities, Twitter appears to have actually cut off access to third-party apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot.
By cutting off access to its API, Twitter limits designers’ capability to provide alternative methods to access the platform.
This change could impact those who depend upon third-party apps for their everyday Twitter material.
While it’s uncertain why Twitter is making such drastic changes to its API access policy, a report from The Info recommends it’s no mishap.
Erin Woo, a reporter at The Details, writes:
“In the day and a half since users started reporting issues with the apps, neither Twitter’s main account nor the Twitter assistance account have discussed what caused the failure, including whether it was intentional or unintentional. Musk likewise hasn’t discussed his Twitter account.
However a senior software application engineer composed Thursday night that “Third-party app suspensions are intentional,” in an internal Twitter command center Slack channel, utilized by staff members to handle failures and interruptions to Twitter’s services. The engineer declined to comment when called by The Info on Saturday afternoon.”
While no official communication has been provided to designers or users, many hypothesize the decision to restrict API access is inspired by a desire to increase income.
Third-party apps drive less advertisement revenue for Twitter. Requiring individuals to utilize the main Twitter app can increase advertisement impressions and make it a more attractive platform for advertisers.
Additionally, funneling more users to the main app can possibly drive more subscriptions to Twitter Blue, which isn’t readily available to buy on third-party apps.
Despite the thinking behind the decision, Twitter is destructive relationships with developers and users alike.
Giving third-party developers access to the Twitter API is advantageous for users because they’re typically able to develop more effective and user-friendly tools than those readily available through Twitter itself.
Moreover, enabling access to the API can help promote development and creativity within the industry, causing more advanced technologies and much better services.
The truth that this modification came without caution has soured relationships with developers, with some promising not to continue dealing with their app if API gain access to is restored.
Craig Hockenberry, the developer of Twitterrific, writes in his blog site:
“What bothers me about Twitterrific’s final day is that it was not dignified. There was no advance notice for its developers, consumers simply got an unusual mistake, and no one is explaining what’s going on. We had no chance to thank clients who have actually been with us for over a decade …
Personally, I’m done. And with a revenge.”
Matteo Villa, designer of Fenix for iOS, says he’s thinking about pulling his app from the App Store
And I’m honestly considering also pulling Fenix for iOS from the app store.People are still downloading it, and who knows if or when it’ll stop working.– Matteo Villa(@mttvll )January
15, 2023 Paul Haddad, co-creator of Tweetbot, writes in a post on Mastodon that he’s on to” smaller sized but greener pastures.”If you’re waiting for your favorite third-party Twitter app to come back online, there’s no telling if that will ever happen. As Twitter laid off its public relations and communications team, a business representative could not be reached for remark. Featured Image: Postmodern Studio/SMM Panel