Elon Musk continues to fire and bloody Twitter

Twitter application

The social network changes its rules and confirms that it deliberately blocks access to third-party apps. Twitter is drawing a line under part of its history with this new decision.

For the past few days, a strange “failure” of third-party Twitter apps has been disrupting user habits. If the social network has official solutions, many people prefer unofficial applications. The Tweetbot, Twiterrific, Echofon and many more are part of the platform’s history, which has led many regulars to wonder about these curious issues. As many people feared, this “outage” is well intentioned and Twitter confirmed it as early as January 17. Elon Musk’s social network said in a message: “Twitter enforces the long rules of its API. This can cause some apps to malfunction”.

On January 19, Twitter finally signaled the end of third-party apps. The social network has updated its rules that developers must sign to exploit its API and a new paragraph appears. It clarifies the terms of use of the API by explaining that it is now prohibited to “create or attempt to create a service or product similar to or that substitutes for Twitter applications”. Clearly, the blue bird has just clipped the wings of all third-party customers.

Indeed, access to the API is essential to connect to the servers of the social network. The announcement is obviously terrible for the developers behind Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Fenix, Talon or Echofon. All these apps will disappear this January. It was also impossible to use these alternatives for several days. For Craig Hockenberry, the most regrettable remains the lack of communication from Twitter. The CEO of Iconfactory, behind Twitterrific, returns to the soap opera of the moment on his blog. “What bothers me about Twitterrific’s last day is that it wasn’t worthy. There was no notice for its creators, customers just got a weird error, and no one explains what’s going on. We haven’t had the opportunity to thank the customers who have been with us for over a decade. Instead it’s just another scene in their ambient mess [chez Twitter] ».

The end of an era at Twitter

On social media, Twitterrific informed its users and evokes “the end of an era”. “Unfortunately, we have been forced to remove Twitterrific from the iOS and Mac App Stores. Twitter’s unexplained revocation of our API access has left the app with no future”, can we read in the message. Same story at Talons : “Twitter has clarified its position. From now on, applications that attempt to recreate the Twitter experience will not be allowed to access Twitter services. Unfortunately, this means that Talon will stop working”.

Twitter’s mascot, Ollie, helped Twitter take off. © Twitterrific

The social network is operating a radical change of direction since the takeover by Elon Musk, whether internally or for users. If this decision confirms Twitter’s desire to change strategy, the manner is disappointing and further degrades its image. Indeed, these third-party applications are part of the history of the social network and have actively participated in its success.

The group does not specify the reasons which lead it to block third-party apps, but one can think that Twitter is trying to promote its official application. In the grip of financial difficulties since Elon Musk took over, the platform is also looking to sell its Twitter subscription.