Twitter has updated its developer rules to ban third-party clients, nearly a week after it ruthlessly blocked apps from accessing its platform, which offers nearly no explanation of what is happening. The new rules state that you may not use Twitter’s API or content to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to Twitter’s applications.
Although still unannounced, Twitter has updated its Developer Agreement so that third-party clients are now prohibited. Over the past week, we’ve seen Tweetbot and Twitterific rendered useless after the company blocked API access.
Twitter later said it was only enforcing long-standing rules, but didn’t provide any details or clarification. This time, an update was made to its Developer Agreement (obviously it’s only in the American version for the moment which is from January 19, 2023 while the last change in the French version is from October 10, 2022). In the update, it is prohibited to create a service or product that replaces or is similar to the Twitter applications; obviously, third-party Twitter applications are now prohibited.
The rules, which were updated Thursday, clarify what that means: Applications Twitter means the products, services, applications, websites, web pages, platforms, and other consumer offerings of Company, including, without limitation, those offered by https://twitter.com and mobile applications from Twitter. The clause prohibiting alternative services was added to the rules with the latest update, according to the Wayback Machine.
The rule change comes after Twitter quietly disabled some popular third-party Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific starting January 12. This time, the developers behind the apps (which have many (they’ve historically shaped the entire Twitter user experience – Twitterific was created before Twitter even had its own iOS app. And they’ve grown in popularity over the years, thanks in part to their lack of ads) said they had not received any communication from the company about what was going on. Then, on January 17, the company’s developer account tweeted that it was enforcing its long-standing API rule, which could cause some apps to malfunction.
The decision seems unlikely to win public favor at a time when the platform is facing challenges on many fronts. In a blog post, Twitterrific’s Sean Heber called Twitter increasingly finicky and a company he no longer trusts and doesn’t want to work with. Matteo Villa, the developer of Fenix, called the lack of communication insulting (Twitter has no communication service at the moment).
Twitterrific: the end of an era
Below is an excerpt from Twitterrific’s post.
Twitterrific has been discontinued.
A sentence neither of us wanted to write, but for a moment we thought we would have written it someday. We didn’t expect to write this so soon, however, and certainly not without warning you that it was coming. We regret to say that the app’s sudden and horrific death was due to an unannounced and undocumented policy change by an increasingly volatile Twitter – a Twitter that we no longer recognize as trustworthy and which no longer we want to work.
Since 2007, Twitterrific has helped define the shape of the Twitter experience. It was the first desktop client, the first mobile client, one of the very first App Store apps, an Apple Design Award winner, and it even helped redefine the word “tweet” in the dictionary. Ollie, Twitter’s bluebird mascot, is so popular that it prompted Twitter to adopt its own bluebird logo. Our little app has made a big dent in the world!
None of these incredible achievements would be possible without the generous and loyal support of you, our wonderful customers and fans. Your financial support may have paid the bills, but your spiritual support has enriched our souls and for that we cannot thank you enough. You changed our lives forever.
But, as much as it pains us to say it, Twitterrific for iOS and macOS has now been removed from both App Stores. If you have an iOS subscription, the App Store will automatically cancel it.
Finally, if you’re a Twitterrific for iOS subscriber, we ask that you consider not requesting a refund from Apple. The loss of ongoing, recurring revenue from Twitterrific would be extremely detrimental to our business, and any refunds would come out of our pockets – not Twitter’s or Apple’s. In other words, thousands of refunds would be devastating for a small business like ours.
Although this chapter is over, our story is not over. As much as we can, we’ll continue to improve our other apps, build new apps, do amazing design work for our customers, and post great wallpapers on Wallaroo and Patreon. Stick to it!
A company under pressure
Twitter is under intense pressure to make a profit (or at least break even) as advertisers flee the platform following unpredictable and rapidly changing content policies. The company, which has $12.5 billion in debt, is due $300 million in its first interest payment and has lost an estimated $4 billion in value since Musk acquired it in late October 2022. Fidelity recently reduced the value of its Twitter stake by 56 %.
To cut costs, Twitter hasn’t paid rent for its San Francisco headquarters or any of its global offices for several weeks. Moreover, the owner of his headquarters sued him. Twitter also refused to pay a $197,725 bill for private charter flights flown during the week of Musk’s hiring, according to a copy of a lawsuit filed in New Hampshire District Court.
Twitter executives also discussed the effects of denying severance on the thousands of people who have been laid off since the acquisition, two people familiar with the conversations said. And Musk has threatened employees with legal action if they speak to the media and act in a manner contrary to the company’s interests.
A complaint alleges that Twitter has failed to pay a $1,092,000 bill on a software deal that doesn’t expire until the end of 2024, and that the Elon Musk-led company apparently intends not to pay. to the supplier additional payments of $7 million. Imply Data, Inc. sued Twitter in California Superior Court, San Francisco County, alleging breach of contract.
Imply Data Inc. said. that after paying bills of about $4.4 million under a proprietary software services contract that runs through 2024, Twitter missed its quarterly bill in Nov. 30. and waived any obligation to pay future bills, according to the lawsuit filed in San Francisco state court. Imply estimate its damages at more than $8 million.
Imply, founded in 2015 and based in Burlingame, Calif., said its lawsuit marks a clear example of Twitter refusing to pay its debt to other companies without just cause.
In the complaint, Imply said that before Musk’s arrival, Twitter had given the software company more than $10 million over four years and had always been satisfied with Imply’s product and its maintenance and support services. A decision was made in mid-2021 to extend their contract for a further three years.
Imply builds a database based on the open source software Apache Druid as well as products for managing and monitoring Druid clusters.
The New York Times reported on November 22nd that Twitter was eliminating some vendors. Imply’s complaint cites media coverage of Twitter refusing to pay vendors and says, “This case involves an apparent lawsuit.” Imply uploaded the invoice for $1,092,000 to Twitter’s vendor portal, and the invoice was approved by Twitter on Oct. 5, according to the complaint. On Nov. 28, 2022, when Imply accessed the vendor portal, Imply learned that Twitter had deleted the invoice and closed the license agreement, the lawsuit said.
Twitter Blue, a lifeline?
The aggressive moves signal that Musk is continuing to cut spending and bend or break past Twitter deals to make his mark. His reign has been characterized by chaos, a series of resignations and firings, rollbacks of account suspensions and previous platform rules, and erratic decisions that have spooked advertisers.
Musk also tried to save an estimated $500 million in non-labor costs by closing a data center and raising money through an office auction.
Twitter is also pushing its Twitter Blue plan hard (now with an annual option), aiming to turn it into a revenue engine. It plans to lift its ban on political ads, which seek campaign dollars in the 2024 US election. And the company is reportedly considering selling usernames through online auctions.
Sources: twitter policyTwitterrific post
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