Twitter always had less-than-stellar relationships with third-party developers. It placed limits on third-party Twitter clients, and developers had to create newer apps to bypass limits on ‘tokens.’ However, today, Twitter has officially banned third-party clients.
Yes, that means any third-party Twitter app ever created will cease to work. If you’ve been using any third-party Twitter client on your Android (or iOS) smartphone or tablet, you can no longer use it. This move shouldn’t surprise users as the company blocked those clients from working last week, although unofficially. Twitter has updated its developer rules to state that developers can’t use Twitter’s API or content to “create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications.”
The rules also clarify that an application means “consumer-facing products, services, applications, websites, web pages, platforms, and other offerings, including, without limitation, those offered via https://twitter.com and Twitter’s mobile applications.” Developers of third-party Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific said they received no communication from Twitter during last week’s outage. Then, on January 17, 2023, the company tweeted that it is “enforcing its long-standing API rules.”
Twitter is enforcing its long-standing API rules. That may result in some apps not working.
— Twitter Dev (@TwitterDev) January 17, 2023
Developers pointed out the lack of clarity regarding which rules were explicitly broken. These apps had been running for years before Elon Musk purchased Twitter a few months ago. Elon is planning to turn Twitter into an “everything app,” but that plan doesn’t seem to be going all that well. Some of the biggest advertisers have stopped spending money on the app to advertise their products and services, leading to a 40% revenue drop.
The actual reason could be that third-party clients don’t fetch the company as much money as its first-party app. Since the company is already financially burdened, it may have decided to pull the plug on supporting third-party Twitter clients. If you’ve been using third-party Twitter clients like Albatross, Fenix 2, or Talon for Twitter, you won’t be able to use it anymore.