Apps like Twitterific that were banned a week ago are said to have violated long-standing API rules. But they have now been changed accordingly.
A week after third-party Twitter apps were suddenly and unannounced banned, the social network has now made the ban official. A half-sentence was added to the user agreement with developers on Thursday, according to which access to Twitter’s API may not be used “to create or attempt to create a service comparable to Twitter’s applications”. This change, which has now been noticed by US media, at least apparently contradicts the claim that only the enforcement of long-standing API rules led to the blocking of third-party apps.
Better cooperation before the Musk takeover
The US magazine Engadget now reminds us that Twitter has changed its developer guidelines in 2021 to explicitly allow third-party apps to take over the core offer – previously it had been discouraged. The change was part of a larger turnaround at Twitter: until it was acquired by Elon Musk, the service tried to improve relationships with developers. Third-party apps have always been an important part of Twitter’s ecosystem, with Twitterific credited with defining the term “tweet” and introducing the blue bird logo. At the same time, some of the apps paid for API access, but because no advertising was played out, Twitter didn’t make any money from it.
A week ago, Twitter unannounced blocked many third-party apps that could no longer connect to the social network. There was already speculation that users of the services should be persuaded to use the official Twitter app. Meanwhile, it is still not clear why some apps continue to work. Twitter later announced that ” long-standing API rules would be enforced “. This could result in some apps not working. The rule change that has now become public contradicts this statement. In any case, those affected point this out, such as Paul Haddad from Tweetbot and Twitterific.
The affected apps should now disappear from the app stores, Twitterific, for example, announced the end after 16 years. The service is still asking customers, if possible, to refrain from asking Apple for a refund. The loss of business is already hitting the small business hard and the refunds have to be paid for by themselves. The developers of the affected apps are now likely to turn their attention to Mastodon. Third-party apps are explicitly desired for the Twitter alternative, and there are already some that have significantly more functions than the official Mastodon app. For example, the Tweetbot makers at Tapbots already have the iOS app, Ivory.