Like users, app developers fled Twitter for Mastodon

Like users, app developers are fleeing Twitter and flocking to Mastodon.

When Twitter updated its terms of use banning third-party customers, the company closed an important chapter in its history. Unlike most of its competitors, which tightly and precisely control what developers have access to, Twitter has a long history with independent app developers.

Like users, app developers are fleeing Twitter

Now, these developers are moving to another platform, Mastodon. Tapbots, the studio behind Tweetbot, recently launched Ivory, a Mastodon client based on its Twitter app. Matteo Villa, who we owe Fenix ​​to, is testing his own Mastodon client called Wooly. Junyu Kuang, the freelance developer behind the Spring client, is working on a Mastodon app, Mona. Shihab Mehboob, behind Aviary, will be launching the Mastodon Mammoth client soon. And the list of developers “turned hostile” has been growing longer and longer since Elon Musk took the reins of Twitter. Mastodon now has over 1.5 million users on almost 10,000 occasions. And Mastodon’s API-centric approach is appealing to developers.

For Paul Haddad, behind Tweetbot and Ivory, “[Twitter] It has come a long way to open its platform API, but customers like us are always seen as second or third class citizens. […] Whereas with Mastodon, that’s definitely not the case.” Same story with Thomas Ricouard, who developed Ice Cubes, which launched a few weeks ago. He considered an app with a Twitter API, but the latter is “especially limited as time goes by.” “Enthusiastic about open-source, I quickly saw the opportunity [chez Mastodon]”, he explained. Today, the app is wildly popular, with dozens of contributors on GitHub. Even Twitter co-founder Ev Williams uses it.

and came to the number in Mastodon

For its part, Mastodon welcomes the interest of developers. According to its founder and CEO Eugen Rochko, “Third-party apps are great for a platform because that’s where the biggest users go, it benefits everyone because they create the content that everyone reads on world.”

Thomas Ricouard and Paul Haddad clarified that the official Mastodon apps do not support quotes, but some third-party clients do. Therefore, we can probably expect to see the feature coming to the official apps. Especially since Eugen Rochko, who used to be against this idea, also seriously considered it. Each on their side, third-party clients add features that are not (yet) in the official apps. “Mastodon is in the same position as Twitter in its infancy, with third-party apps that have a big impact on the functional orientation of the product in the future”, explains Thomas Ricouard.

But if Eugen Rochko is pleased with the proliferation of Mastodon clients, he does not want to rush to copy their functions. Mastodon is still a non-profit organization with a small team and an already long roadmap, but it’s clear that they will have an impact in the future.

However, not all Twitter client developers are ready to go with Mastodon. This is the case, for example, of the Tweetings developer. Those at Twitterrific are still reluctant to start with Mastodon. It certainly depends on what happens next for Mastodon. If the platform manages to sustain such growth, it could be possible. And for Eugen Rochko, more than the number of new users, it is the quality of those who arrive that is interesting: “For me, the most exciting thing about these last waves of users in Mastodon it is not really their number but their identity.People belong to journalistic structures, media, political organizations, the world of cinema, writing or real internet celebrities.

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