Twitter officially bans third-party clients with new developer rules


When it cited ‘long-standing third-party API guidelines’ for why TweetBot et al. had been blocked, it was unclear what the corporate meant.

An illustration of the Twitter logo.

Twitter has up to date its developer guidelines to ban third-party purchasers, virtually per week after it unceremoniously blocked the apps’ access to its platform, providing virtually no clarification to what was occurring (via Engadget). The new rules state you can’t use Twitter’s API or content material to “create or try to create a substitute or comparable service or product to the Twitter Purposes.”

The principles, up to date on Thursday, make it clear what meaning: “Twitter Purposes” refers back to the firm’s “shopper going through merchandise, companies, purposes, web sites, net pages, platforms, and different choices, together with with out limitation, these provided through and Twitter’s cell purposes.” The clause banning different companies was added to the principles with the newest replace, according to the Wayback Machine.

The rule change comes after Twitter silently broke a number of common third-party Twitter purchasers like Tweetbot and Twitterific beginning on January twelfth. On the time, the builders behind the apps (lots of which have traditionally formed the complete Twitter person expertise) mentioned they’d acquired no communication in any respect from the corporate about what was taking place. Then, on January 17th, the company’s developer account tweeted that it was “imposing its long-standing API guidelines,” which “might lead to some apps not working.”

The assertion was not positively acquired. Several commentators and builders identified the shortage of readability about what guidelines had been really being damaged and the truth that the apps had been working for years earlier than Elon Musk bought Twitter and began espousing plans to turn it into an “everything app.” In 2021, former Twitter developer platform lead Amir Shevat advised me that the corporate was specifically trying to make it easier for builders to compete with Twitter’s first-party apps with a latest rule change.

“Now we have been respectful of their API guidelines, as printed, for the previous 16 years,” wrote Ged Maheux, a co-founder of Twitterific developer The Iconfactory, in a blog post about the app being down. “Now we have no data that these guidelines have modified just lately or what these adjustments is perhaps.”

Craig Hockenberry, principal at Iconfactory, put it more bluntly on his personal blog: “There was no advance discover for its creators, clients simply bought a bizarre error, and nobody is explaining what’s occurring. We had no probability to thank clients who’ve been with us for over a decade. As a substitute, it’s simply one other scene of their ongoing shit present.”

Cash is probably going one of many causes behind the rule change and third-party consumer ban. Twitter has been struggling financially since Musk took over, saddling it with billions in debt, and third-party purchasers don’t earn it any cash. The corporate doesn’t serve adverts through its API, and folks utilizing third-party purchasers might not be as within the Twitter Blue subscription service, which primarily provides options to the official Twitter app.

There seemingly hasn’t been any official announcement of the rule change, both from Twitter Dev or Elon Musk. Twitter doesn’t have a communications division to contact.


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