Snippet: Apps of a Feather ☇

Shared on April 6, 2018

Twitter may be using a new way to ice out third-party clients:

After June 19th, 2018, “streaming services” at Twitter will be removed. This means two things for third-party apps:

  1. Push notifications will no longer arrive
  2. Timelines won’t refresh automatically

If you use an app like Talon, Tweetbot, Tweetings, or Twitterrific, there is no way for its developer to fix these issues.

We are incredibly eager to update our apps. However, despite many requests for clarification and guidance, Twitter has not provided a way for us to recreate the lost functionality. We’ve been waiting for more than a year.

While Twitter has been making life tougher for third-party clients, this is a big blow and if it happens, would severely cripple a number of key features. The company backtracked today, stating that the change has been postponed from the original June date and promises notice. I hope Twitter does work with developers, as apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot have made the service much more enjoyable for me.

Furthermore, the third-party app ecosystem might not get Twitter the analytics or ad data, but that ecosystem helped build the user base in its earliest years. It’s also arguably the biggest group of passionate users from Twitter’s earliest days that will stick with the service. I suspect in the grand scheme of things, the number of users aren’t that much, but I’d rather have a crippled, good third-party client than the web site or the doesn’t-know-how-to-use-an-iPad-screen app. If anything, my usage would decrease, rather than shift, and I don’t think I’m alone.

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