In the past, Twitter had unexpectedly blocked access to certain third-party apps, citing the need to implement old policies as the cause. App developers were frustrated since Twitter had not provided them with any definitive guidelines or answers to their questions. Worse yet, Twitter has discreetly updated its developer agreement, doubling down on what everyone already knew: that it intends to fully cut off third-party programs.
Specifically, the new condition states that app developers may not “use or access the Licensed Materials to construct or seek to create a substitute or equivalent service or product to the Twitter Applications.” With this update, Twitter has confirmed what many popular Twitter client developers have believed for the past several days: that third-party Twitter services are not allowed under Elon Musk’s leadership.
Apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific have been around for a long time, and while being bound by the API, they still provide a user experience that many people find better than Twitter’s official app.
But it appears the company is now focused only on ensuring its app dominance. The app developers who have spent years refining their applications and building their careers around this business model are naturally frustrated and angry about the recent change.
Adding fuel to the fire, Twitter has not responded to these developers’ requests for more information about how to un-suspend their apps. For example, Fenix’s developer, Matteo Villa, has already removed the software from the Google Play Store and is now considering whether or not to do the same with the iOS App Store.
Twitterrific, meantime, has publicly announced the end of support for its 16-year-old application and asked users not to request refunds as doing so would be financially burdensome for the firm.
There is certainly no excuse to just pull the plug and make up the rules later on. Twitter should be able to give these developers ample notice about their plans to discontinue their API access. Twitter, you’re not making a good impression here.