We reported the other day that third party Twitter clients were unable to access the Twitter platform any further, showing authentication errors and other weird messages confusing users.
Thus far, there has been no word from Twitter – official or otherwise – about the reason behind this blocking of third party clients, but it seems there’s now some leaked information to confirm that the move was absolutely intentional.
The Information reports that it has seen internal Twitter Slack messages, which – amongst other things – show a senior software engineer stating “Third party app suspensions are intentional”. This explains why some small users of the Twitter Developer API are still able to access data without interruption, but the largest third party clients have been effectively removed.
Developers who have literally made a living from their popular Twitter clients are now faced with the prospect of losing an income stream, or worse, having to refund recent purchases because they’ve sold a product that no longer works. Undoubtedly there’ll be some legal wrangling between some developers and Twitter over this, but … it won’t change what’s happened.
So far, it’s been four days since Twitter blocked third party apps and there’s been no official comment (and, frankly, there’s no one to really approach anymore to ask for one). Most Twitter users that I know – and from conversation on alternative social network Mastodon the message is much the same – users are either reverting to the official Twitter app, or just ditching the platform entirely.
Since Musk’s purchase of Twitter, the platform has largely gone down the toilet anyway; reports are advertisers have left the network in droves off the back of Musk’s public statements and the company’s actions softening the moderation stance and allowing previously-banned, toxic individuals to come right on back. Many of Twitter’s staff – junior and senior – have left, either having been sacked or having walked away, and there have been several widely publicised outages where the whole show has fallen over.
There’s also the horribly confused messaging about verified accounts which were going away, then you could buy them, and now there’s four different levels of verification. Far from making things clearer, it’s just muddied the already opaque waters more.
All these events have driven many Twitter users to simply leave and go elsewhere. It’s a shame – I have many fond memories connected to Twitter (meeting partners, friends, socialising, planning events, and much more – but the Twitter that enabled all that has long since burned to the ground and what’s left… well, in this writer’s opinion, it’s not worth saving anymore.