Twitter announced that third-party applications like Tweetbot and Twitterrific had been purposefully barred from using Twitter APIs. The social network, Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Birdie, Echofon, and other well-known Twitter clients are inaccessible and unable to be utilized.
Today, Twitter’s Dev account tweeted that the company is “enforcing its long-standing API regulations,” a shift that might prevent some apps from functioning. Information needs to be provided regarding the API rules that the prohibited Twitter clients have broken. Since they ceased to function last Thursday, Twitter has not previously given any information on what’s happening with third-party Twitter apps.
Last week, when certain third-party Twitter apps stopped working, it was initially thought that a glitch might be to blame. The fact that only the most well-known Twitter clients were impacted and barred from Twitter’s APIs may be evidence of an internal issue. It became more obvious that this was a purposeful choice as Twitter remained silent over the situation for days. The suspensions were intentional, a senior software engineer at Twitter remarked in an internal Slack channel over the weekend, according to The Information, implying that many Twitter employees were unaware of what was happening.
It’s unclear why Twitter has yet to give much information on what’s happening to long-running, extremely popular third-party Twitter apps or if access to the API would be restored if adjustments are made. The creators of Twitterrific and Tweetbot, Iconfactory and Tapbots, respectively, did not get any notice of the closure and need explanations as to why their apps stopped functioning.
Apps like Tweetbot have been operational for more than ten years. They have devoted users, extensive development teams, and significant financial investments in social media. Long-time Twitter users and developers have voiced anger with Twitter’s choice and lack of communication.
According to MacStories, Twitter’s actions were “disgraceful” and “unprofessional,” and they showed a “complete lack of respect” for the crucial role that independent apps have had in the social network’s growth.
Twitter’s actions were described as “clueless, classless, and cowardly” by Jason Snell. As Twitter’s client is “awful,” John Gruber claimed that this is probably the last time he would use it regularly.
It is still being determined when or if Twitter will provide additional details regarding third-party Twitter clients or if the apps whose API access has been removed will again function. Ivory, Tapbots’ client for the Mastodon social network, is undergoing accelerated development. According to Craig Hockenberry of Twitterrific, he will investigate the idea of a timeline that is ubiquitous and makes use of open standards in “new and unusual ways.”
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