Twitter Confirms Third-Party Apps Like Tweetbot Were Intentionally Blocked

Twitter confirmed today that third-party Twitter applications such as Tweetbot and Twitterrific have been intentionally blocked from using the Twitter API. Without access to the social network’s underlying code, Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Birdie, Echofon, and other popular Twitter clients would not function properly and be unusable.

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Twitter’s dev account today said in a tweet Twitter is “enforcing its long-standing API rules,” and the change may prevent some apps from working. There’s no word yet on which API rules the blocked Twitter client violated, and for the first time since it stopped working last Thursday, Twitter has provided insight into what’s going on with third-party Twitter apps.

When some third-party Twitter apps became unavailable last week, it was initially thought that some kind of bug might have caused the outage. Only the most popular Twitter clients were affected and blocked by Twitter’s API, which may indicate an internal bug. However, since Twitter declined to comment on the matter for several days, it’s clear this was a deliberate decision. all weekend, Information In an internal Slack channel, a senior software engineer at Twitter clarified that the suspension was intentional, suggesting that many Twitter employees didn’t even know what was going on, the company said.

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It’s unclear why Twitter provided so little information about popular third-party Twitter apps that have been around for years, or whether those apps would gain API access again if changes were made. Developers such as Iconfactory and Tapbots (respectively responsible for Twitterrific and Tweetbot) were not warned about the shutdown, nor did they receive information about why their apps stopped working.

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Apps like Tweetbot have been around for over a decade, with loyal users, full development teams, and significant investments in social networking. Developers expressed frustration with Twitter’s decision and lack of communication, as did longtime Twitter users.

mike storyFor example, calling Twitter’s actions “disgraceful” and “unprofessional,” Twitter has shown “complete disrespect” for the role third-party apps play in the social network’s success.

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Jason Snell called Twitter’s actions “incompetent, classless, and cowardly,” and John Gruber said it could be the end of his regular Twitter use because Twitter’s own client is “terrible.”

At this time, it’s unclear when or if we’ll get more information from Twitter about third-party Twitter clients, or whether apps that have revoked API access will be restored in some capacity. Tapbots is now accelerating development of Ivory, the Mastodon social network’s app, while Twitterrific’s Craig Hockenberry says he’ll explore the idea of ​​a truly universal schedule that leverages open standards and how “new and different way” to use.


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