Last week, we reported that some, if not pretty much all of the third-party Twitter clients such as Tweetbot, Twitterrific and Birdie stopped working. The initial issues pointed towards the official Twitter API or a bug. In the day of the outage, as well as a few days afterwards, Twitter didn’t respond to anyone, not even the developers themselves. The initial issue was believed to be a bug or glitch.
Now, this week the official @TwitterDev account shared the below tweet which confirmed that this change was indeed intentional and the company has stated it is now enforcing the API rules, of which are yet to be shared. There isn’t any information as to what rules have been violated either.
Twitter is enforcing its long-standing API rules. That may result in some apps not working.
— Twitter Dev (@TwitterDev) January 17, 2023
The intention behind banning all third-party Twitter clients is pretty clear, even if Twitter hasn’t shared this publicly. Third-party Twitter apps cannot run advertising, they don’t support signing up for Twitter Blue and Twitter has pretty much no control over them. If Elon Musk wants to make money from the platform and make the company profitable, then some changes had to be made. Whether or not a lot of people agree with it, is a different matter and how the company has gone about it is pretty ruthless.
Tweetbot, devolped by Tapbots has been around for over ten years, with a major investment into developing the app, which has without any doubt help grow Twitter in the earlier days where it likely could not have on its own. A lot of long-time users of the third-party apps, as well as the developers themselves have shared their frustration against this decision.
Tapbots was already developing, Ivory as new client for Mastodon and the company is now fast tracking the progress on that new app.