Twitter Intentionally Ends Third-Party App Developer Access to Its APIs

Twitter Intentionally Ends Third-Party App Developer Access to Its APIs
Late yesterday, The Information reported that it had seen internal Twitter Slack communications confirming that the company had intentionally cut off third-party Twitter app access to its APIs. The shut-down, which happened Thursday night US time, hasn’t affected all apps and services that use the API but instead appears targeted at the most popular third-party

John Voorhees, writing for MacStories:

Twitter’s actions also show a total lack of respect for the role that third-party apps have played in the development and success of the service from its earliest days. Twitter was founded in 2006, but it wasn’t until the iPhone launched about a year later that it really took off, thanks to the developers who built the first mobile apps for the service.

The prevailing wisdom is now all pretty lined up behind the notion that Twitter has intentionally revoked API access for the major third party Twitter clients, as I discussed earlier in the week.

I would say this whole debacle is a masterclass in how not to do Developer Relations, but as far as I know, none of the Twitter DevRel team are still at the company. Regardless, as the linked article says, Twitter has always had a pretty rough relationship with people building third party apps for the service, despite those apps being critical to the service’s growth and success.

And not only that, but those same apps are frequently excellent examples of iOS development. It’s probably not widely known outside the iOS developer community, but “Pull to Refresh”, the UX pattern whereby you pull down on a list to update it, was first introduced by Twitter before it was eventually adopted by Apple as a de facto iOS standard.

I’m still not sure if Mastodon is going to be the new Twitter, but moves like this where you alienate your most passionate users and developers are not going to help Twitter’s case. Especially when you do it in such a manifestly disrespectful and unprofessional manner.

Tech early adopters might not be the largest percentage of users on Twitter anymore, but they built it into the service it is today, and they can be the ones to rip it all down too. Elon Musk would be minded to remember that.