A couple of days ago, we learned that third-party Twitter apps were not working. Users reported that the likes of Fenix, Flamingo, and more were experiencing an outage, and at that time, no explanation or communication was made from Twitter explaining the downtime. Then, it started appearing that Twitter had deliberately blacklisted the apps, but still did not reveal this information, at least officially.
Now, we have learned that this is what actually happened: that the social media giant actually amended its developer rules to basically end the life of third-party clients.
The updated rules, which were released on Thursday (yesterday), provide a clear definition of what “Twitter Applications” refers to: it includes the company’s products, services, websites, platforms, and other offerings that are available to the general public, and that are provided without any limitations, those offered via https://twitter.com and Twitter’s mobile applications.
The recent rule change and ban on third-party clients is likely motivated by financial considerations.
Since its takeover by Musk, Twitter has been facing financial difficulties and carrying billions in debt.
Third-party clients generate less revenue for the company than its own first-party app, as while some developers pay to access the API, Twitter does not serve ads through it, limiting its ability to monetize usage of alternative apps.
Additionally, users of third-party clients may be less likely to subscribe to Twitter Blue, which mainly offers additional features for the official Twitter app.
This development has been met with negative reactions. Critics and developers have expressed frustration about the lack of clarity about which rules were being violated and the fact that these apps had been in operation for years prior to Twitter’s purchase by Elon Musk and his plans to maximize the platform’s potential.