Skip to content

Twitter Officially Removes Third-Party Clients

Twitter changes its API rules and removes third-party clients for good.

Stuart Breckenridge
Stuart Breckenridge
1 min read
Twitter Officially Removes Third-Party Clients
Photo by Christian Lue / Unsplash

Starting on 12th January, third-party Twitter clients could no longer access the Twitter API.

Six silent days later, @TwitterDev:

The next day, the Twitter Developer Agreement was updated:

You will not or attempt to...c) use or access the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications

This change has been made in a typically disingenuous way. No warning was given, and rules were enforced before they were written. I don't understand what Twitter will gain out of this.

  1. I don't imagine that the number of third-party app users is significant enough to dent Twitter's bottom line. Many of the users that are impacted by this will migrate to Mastodon. Twitter has lost the chance to monetise those users  in any meaningful way.
  2. Why would any developer work on anything that uses the Twitter API? Can developers trust Twitter?
  3. What constitutes substitute or similar? A client that renders a tweet? Does it need to have Like, Retweet, or Quote Tweet functionality?

Regardless, this change results in several of my favourite apps—Tweetbot and Twitteriffic—disappearing from the App Store as they no longer function. Even though I'm no longer on Twitter, I'm disappointed for third-party developers—they've contributed considerably to the Twitter ecosystem for over a decade.

The good news is that there's a considerable amount of creative work in the Mastodon client space: Ivory; Tusker; Mammoth; and Ice Cubes, to name a few[1]. So please do yourself a favour and try them out (and maybe delete your Twitter account while you're at it).

  1. We're even working on adding functionality to follow Mastodon users and hashtags in NetNewsWire. ↩︎

👨‍👧‍👦 Social