As of yesterday, it is officially official that Twitter has banned third-party apps from its services, as they company is no longer supporting them.
Twitter recently and quietly updated its developer agreement which pretty much says app developers are no longer allowed to make separate and dedicated apps and clients for Twitter.
Its “restricted” section was also updated with a clause that bans the “use or access the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications.”
Twitter did acknowledge these apps not working in a tweet made by its Twitter Dev account, citing its “long-standing API rules.”
Twitter is enforcing its long-standing API rules. That may result in some apps not working.
— Twitter Dev (@TwitterDev) January 17, 2023
At the end of the day, what it means is apps like Tweetbot, Twitterrific, and many others for iOS and Android are no longer allowed to be used for Twitter, rendering them useless.
Tapbots, the developers of Tweetbot, have recently updated the official Tweetbot page on its website that does talk about the end and demise of its app. Their plan now is to work on their Mastodon app client called “Ivory.”
Tapbots also created an image (seen below), showing off the now “dead” Tweetbot app, with the presumed avatar of its upcoming Mastodon client paying tribute to it from its grave.
Twitterrific has updated its website to note the changes of its client and note the end of that app too.
Reasons for why some Twitter users prefer to use these third-party apps are because of features like not seeing any of the sponsored tweets, a better-looking or designed app, a chronological timeline that Twitter did not have until the end of 2022, and other reasons. Of course, with the Twitter API guidelines, there were still rules each app had to follow and that some of the features that were in the Twitter app were not always available in the third-party apps.
However, developers of these apps have noted issues with how all of this has played out in the past week. Specifically, the fact there was no spoken warning from the company itself.
Matteo Villa, the developer of Fenix, spoke with EEngadget to tell his thoughts on it.
“It’s not totally unexpected, but the lack of communication is a bit insulting,” he said.
Sean Heber from Twitterrific mentioned the gap of communications in a blog post about the end of the app.
“We are sorry to say that the app’s sudden and undignified demise is due to an unannounced and undocumented policy change by an increasingly capricious Twitter – a Twitter that we no longer recognize as trustworthy nor want to work with any longer,” he said.
For now, the only third-party Twitter app that seems to be working is Fenix for iOS. However, once that is eventually cut off from the Twitter API, the only ways to access Twitter on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac will be through the official Twitter app or TweetDeck.
What are your thoughts on the end of third-party apps on Twitter? Comment below or let us know on Twitter at @appleosophy.
(Update: 01/20/2023 – Fenix for iOS is no longer working and is officially no longer supported on Twitter)