In a relocation triggering debate throughout tech and designer neighborhoods, Twitter appears to have cut off access to third-party apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot.
By cutting off access to its API, Twitter restricts designers’ ability to provide alternative methods to access the platform.
This change could affect those who depend upon third-party apps for their daily Twitter material.
While it’s uncertain why Twitter is making such extreme changes to its API access policy, a report from The Details suggests it’s no accident.
Erin Woo, a reporter at The Information, writes:
“In the day and a half since users began reporting problems with the apps, neither Twitter’s main account nor the Twitter assistance account have explained what triggered the blackout, including whether it was purposeful or unintentional. Musk likewise hasn’t discussed his Twitter account.
But a senior software application engineer wrote Thursday night that “Third-party app suspensions are intentional,” in an internal Twitter command center Slack channel, used by workers to deal with blackouts and disruptions to Twitter’s services. The engineer decreased to comment when contacted by The Info on Saturday afternoon.”
While no main interaction has been offered to designers or users, lots of speculate the choice to restrict API access is motivated by a desire to increase profits.
Third-party apps drive less advertisement revenue for Twitter. Forcing individuals to use the official Twitter app can increase advertisement impressions and make it a more attractive platform for marketers.
Additionally, funneling more users to the main app can potentially drive more memberships to Twitter Blue, which isn’t offered to purchase on third-party apps.
Despite the thinking behind the decision, Twitter is damaging relationships with designers and users alike.
Offering third-party developers access to the Twitter API is beneficial for users because they’re typically able to produce more efficient and easy to use tools than those offered through Twitter itself.
Additionally, allowing access to the API can assist promote development and creativity within the industry, resulting in more advanced innovations and better services.
The reality that this modification came without warning has soured relationships with developers, with some swearing not to continue working on their app if API gain access to is restored.
Craig Hockenberry, the designer of Twitterrific, writes in his blog:
“What troubles me about Twitterrific’s final day is that it was not dignified. There was no advance notification for its developers, consumers just got a strange mistake, and nobody is discussing what’s going on. We had no possibility to thank consumers who have been with us for over a decade …
Personally, I’m done. And with a revenge.”
Matteo Villa, developer of Fenix for iOS, states he’s thinking about pulling his app from the App Shop
And I’m truthfully thinking about likewise pulling Fenix for iOS from the app store.People are still downloading it, and who understands if or when it’ll stop working.– Matteo Vacation Home(@mttvll )January
15, 2023 Paul Haddad, co-creator of Tweetbot, writes in a post on Mastodon that he’s on to” smaller sized however greener pastures.”If you’re awaiting your preferred third-party Twitter app to come back online, there’s no informing if that will ever happen. As Twitter laid off its public relations and interactions team, a business agent could not be grabbed comment. Featured Image: Postmodern Studio/SMM Panel