1674365195 Twitter streamlines third party app rules to ban third party apps

Twitter streamlines third-party app rules to ban third-party apps

After third-party Twitter app developers failed to provide any information as to why their software stopped working last week, Twitter offered some sort of explanation this week.

“Twitter is enforcing its longstanding API rules,” according to the biz said on Tuesday 17 January. “This may cause some apps not to work.” It would be two more days before these long-standing rules would appear on social media Developer Agreement.

This document, which now reads “Effective January 19, 2023,” includes a previously missing clause in Section “II. Restrictions on Use of Licensed Materials”. This is what that section reads, with added rule c) highlighted by us:

This rule, which bans alternative apps, was not included in the developer agreement the day before and before that. A Captured January 18th The fine print of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine – rules that went into effect October 2022 – contains two b) clauses and one ad) clause, but strangely no c) clause and no prohibition on creating an app that Twitter -Applications resembles – the twit of the website -Facing products.

Screenshot of the Twitter Developer Agreement archived on January 18, 2023

Snapshot of the Twitter developer agreement dated January 18, 2023, the day before the update… Note the missing c) clause

Third-party Twitter developers finally have an explanation for why their apps aren’t working with the site anymore: Twitter buyer and CEO Elon Musk gave them the go-ahead — a struggling company that’s now hostile to a previously half-heartedly courted group.

Software developers like Icon Factory, makers of Twitterific, and Tapbots, makers of Tweetbot, may now find it hard to believe that “Twitter loves developers” like the business does Developer Policy currently announced.

These small companies have spent years supporting the Twitter platform and expanding their audience by developing apps that offer a better, or at least alternative, user experience. And now they have been banished.

have people with visual impairments expressed concern because third party twitter apps turned out to be more accessible than Twitter’s own client software.

Under the previous administration, third-party developers just had to navigate through inconsistencies and policy chaos, but at least there was some communication. And in recent years there have been efforts to make amends.

Twitter previously had self-serving vague rules limiting what third-party developers could do, but that language has been removed a policy update dated November 15, 2021:

Twitter under Elon Musk has a different agenda. Simply disabling developer API access and breaking widely used apps without warning is just”actively hostile‘ as the programmers at Icon Factory put it.

In a blog post Thursday, Icon Factory announced the discontinuation of Twitterific and lamented its demise.

“We are sorry to say that the app’s sudden and undignified demise was due to an unannounced and undocumented policy change by an increasingly capricious Twitter – a Twitter we no longer trust and no longer wish to work with.” said the code creator.

Twitter’s purge of third-party customers could not only harm development firms by denying them potential future revenue, but also allow client app makers to potentially refund customers for purchased software that no longer works.

In their blog post, Icon Factory asked customers not to ask for refunds.

“The loss of ongoing, recurring revenue from Twitterrific is already having a significant impact on our business, and any refunds will come straight out of our pockets — not Twitter’s and not Apple’s,” the company said. “To put it simply, thousands of refunds would be devastating for a small business like ours.”

Tapbots, which has ditched its Tweetbot app after 12 years, has announced that it is working on a client for the Mastodon federated social network called Ivory. ®

PS: It is reported that Twitter now has about 1,300 active employees, including fewer than 550 full-time engineers and about 1,400 non-working employees. That’s 80 percent of the workforce being laid off as Musk tries to cut costs, overhead, people he doesn’t like, etc.