It’s dead for Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Fenix ​​​​​​​​and all alternative Twitter apps

It’s over for third-party Twitter clients. The social network just changed its rules to make it clear that there is nothing more than the official application. All other apps are suddenly buried.

This time, the carrots are cooked. Unofficial applications on Twitter will surely disappear, even if they contribute a lot to the social network. On January 19, 2023, Twitter updated its rules vis-à-vis developers and things are now written in black and white: it is forbidden to design software similar to official Twitter applications.

In particular, users of the Twitter programming interface (API) are prohibited from ” create or attempt to create a service or product that is a substitute for or similar to the Twitter applications “. Access to the API is required to “connect” to the servers of the social network, and thus read and write tweets from another program.

January marked the collapse of Twitter’s third-party ecosystem. // Source: Twitter

The consequence of these new rules? All third-party apps will die. Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Fenix, Talon, YoruFukurou, Echofon and others will de facto disappear in January 2023. Most of them have been inaccessible since mid-January, with initial access restrictions. Since then, the silence of Elon Musk’s teams has been strongly criticized.

That silence was broken on January 17, five days after the first reports from alternative apps and their respective communities. On the Twitter Dev account, a message warned that the API changes would have the effect of rendering applications non-functional. In doing so, Twitter confirmed a deliberate action against its ecosystem.

“Today marks the end of an era”

Among the victims of this new policy, the change has not been widely commented. The Twitterrific and Fenix​​​​​​accounts have not been updated since January 17. Ditto for the accounts of the developers behind these projects. Others, however, ended up speaking out, like Twitterrific and Talon.

Today marks the end of an era. Unfortunately, we have been forced to remove Twitterrific from the iOS and Mac App Stores. Twitter’s inexplicable withdrawal of our API access has left the app with no future », write Twitterrific. ” Twitter clarified its position. […] Unfortunately, this eventually means that Talon will stop working. », Falls act.

Twitter’s brand image has been degraded in this order, if only by the way the company interacts with its ecosystem. The new rules addressed to developers are from January 19. However, the official Twitter Dev account announced on January 17 that the long-standing policy will apply… except that at that time, the latest update to the rules is dated October 10, 2022. And at that time, there will be no ban on third-party apps.

The underlying reasons that led to some cemetery applications were not disclosed by Twitter. However, many consider that it is an effort to centralize all Internet users in a single application – the official one – in order to show those who are not yet there more or less personalized and better advertising to identify them with algorithms. We also see a way to sell Twitter Blue subscription, available only in the official application.

The end of third-party apps marks the end of an era at Twitter. Long before the official app, these communities of developers allowed the social network to become popular (for example, Twitter was launched before the birth of the App Store thanks to the jailbreak). Finally on smartphones, Twitter even got a third-party client, Tweetie, to make it its official application. By suddenly abandoning alternative applications, without thanking them, Elon Musk turned a blind eye to the history of his property.

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