Twitter officially bans third-party clients after cutting major developers • TechCrunch
After cutting big app makers like Tweetbot and Twitterific, Twitter today quietly updated its Developer Terms to ban third-party clients altogether.
Spotted by Engadget, the “restrictions” section of Twitter’s roughly 5,000 words developer agreement has been updated with a disclaimer prohibiting “using or accessing the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter applications”. Earlier this week, Twitter said it was “enforcing long-standing API rules” in banning customers from accessing its platform, but did not name which ones. specific rule developers were violating. Now we know – retroactively.
As Engadget notes, Twitter clients are part of Twitter history – Twitterific was created before Twitter had its own native iOS app. And they’ve grown in popularity in recent years, in part due to their lack of ads.
Twitter’s attitude toward third-party customers has long been permissive and even supportive, with the company going as far as eliminate a section of its development terms that discouraged developers from replicating its core service. But that appears to have changed under CEO Elon Musk.
The decision seems unlikely to foster goodwill toward Twitter at a time when the platform faces challenges on multiple fronts. In a blog post, Sean Heber of Twitterrific called Twitter “increasingly temperamental” and a company he “no longer recognizes”.[d] as trustworthy or with whom I want to work longer. Matteo Villa, the developer of Fenix, in an interview with Engadget called the lack of communication “insulting”. (Twitter does not currently have a communication service.)
Twitter is under immense pressure to make a profit — or at least break even — as advertisers flee the platform, spurred by unpredictable and rapidly changing content policies. The company, which has $12.5 billion in debt, must pay $300 million on its first interest payment and has lost an estimated $4 billion in value since Musk acquired it in late October 2022. Fidelity recently wrote down the value of its stake. on Twitter by 56%.
Twitter cuts abound. Some employees bring their own toilet paper to work after the company cut janitorial services, The New York Times reported, and Twitter stopped paying rent for several of its offices. Musk has also tried to save an estimated $500 million in non-labor costs, shutting down a data center and launching a fire sale after auctioning office items in a bid to recover the costs.
Twitter is also pushing its Twitter Blue plan heavily (now with an annual option), aiming to make it a profit engine. It plans to lift its ban on political ads, chasing campaign dollars in the 2024 US election. And the company is reportedly considering selling usernames through online auctions.
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